Monday, May 6, 2013


A week ago Sunday I was part of a race that will go down in history for me as one of the greatest.....

No PR to claim
No Bib #
No Finish Line crossed
No medal

Sometimes it's not about YOU at's about those who need a little piece of you to make their race something to remember......

I was part of the "Spectator Extraordinaire" Team
Devon, Marnee, Me & Ryan (Harmony's hubby)

I headed down to the Eugene marathon to support me friends Meredith & Harmony as they both took on another 26.2.

We had signs (thanks to Devon!!)

We had cowbell!!!
Let me tell you......Ryan can handle a cowbell like no other.
We are all anxiously awaiting his "Spectators Guide" to be released. :) He was the ultimate guide around the course!!

It was one of those weekends where you can so clearly see God's hand in bringing people together.  

God knew that Meredith's legs would give up on her and that she would need Marnee to be by her side for 12 miles to complete the race

she was feeling a little better when I was blessed to join them for last few miles:)

God knew that Harmony would need a little encouragement at the end of the race and gave me fresh legs to be blessed enough to run the last 7 miles with her.

God knew that Ryan would need help ordering his first Starbucks!! (haha)....yes it's true....his 1st!  We gladly accepted the challenge.

God knew the conversations we would have the night before the race with Harmony and Ryan about the battle they face with Ryan's cancer.   He knew how that conversation ..........their realness and peace.....will truly stick with me forever.

God knew how much it would mean for Ryan to be there and cheer for his sweet wife and see her cross that finish line

There were laughs, conversations and moments that will forever be engrained in me.

God gives us people to run beside in life......because when we hit a wall - we need a sweet face to come beside us and pick us up and stick by us.

I have had those moments in my life and in my running that I have had my own "spectators" carry me through........ and I am beyond blessed to have been on the other side of it this time around!!

Thank you friends for some more Inspired Miles!!!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Boston - Oh sweet we LOVE you!

Oh how I have missed you!!  I can't even express how much I have missed writing and being a part of the unique and amazing running and blogging community.  I have been "itching"to start blogging again for quite some time and have held back for one reason or another.  Whether it be finding the time to do it or feeling like I needed to get completely past my injury and my training/running needing to be "blog worthy" has just simply been too long. I have realized, especially in this last week, how important our stories are and how sharing our inspirations, our ups & downs, our LOVE of running & of life.........that it has value.  I think this week we have all been reminded of things that we could certainly value more.  My blog is called "Inspired Miles of a Mom"..... there are a lot of things that inspire me, running included.  This week I was heart broken & inspired by a many things, but mostly touched by seeing people step up and show God's love to each other.  This post is dedicated to the 4 lives that were lost this week in Boston and to the city of Boston and the people of America that were effected by an ugly act of hate!

2 years ago in 2011, I had the amazing privilege of pounding the pavement in the Boston Marathon.  There is truly nothing like the experience of that race. The details of that day will be something I forever treasure.

I have always had a weird hang up about wearing my Boston Marathon garb.  Maybe feeling like people would think I was "bragging". But since Monday, it has been different.  I have rocked my Boston gear and wore it proud!!  Feeling almost ashamed that I didn't take more pride in it before.  I will wear it from now on being fully aware that it took a LOT of work for me to arrive at that start line 2 years ago and that it took a LOT of work for the runners last week to get there.......and some of them didn't even get to experience crossing the infamous blue finish line.  A finish line that stays with you forever.  I will wear it knowing Boylston Street to me, was that corner I turned and suddenly  had my ears and eyes locked into the finish line....the place that I would soon look over & see see my family cheering and smiling.......the street that meant I was almost there.  That I had just ran the Boston Marathon!  Now Boylston Street holds a lot more than that.  It's the street where two cowards decided to take their hate out on others  - innocent people there to show love & support to their family members & friends that had also earned the privilege to stomp that same pavement for 26.2 miles.




As I have tried to process the attack on the Boston Marathon this last week, I have had a lot of things go through my mind.  But more than ever I have been reminded of how loving, supportive and strong our little running community is.  It has been amazing to see an even bigger picture of how Americans can choose to let LOVE prevail over anger and fear!!  I will forever be grateful for my memories and experience of the Boston Marathon.  And I hope that one day I can return and face the course again, for me, for the whole running community, for those lost this week, for Boston and for America! I know it would hold more meaning than ever.  That I can turn that corner on Boylston Street and face it without fear, but with an even deeper respect and pride.

Let's not let them have our love of racing.  Lets not let them have our love of cheering for those we admire and love.  Let's not let them have our fear. Let's not let them have Boylston Street!!  

Like I said.....I HAVE MISSED YOU!!  I was honored to experience the love this week in our city and the running community through a few runs honoring Boston. This was a great week to plug back in and share a little of my INSPIRING week:








As far as my training/ injury is holding up well & I have a half on the calendar with my dad on Father's Day.  But more about all that later :)
Thanks for letting me share my Inspired Miles!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011


"The Blanket"  - The AMAZING group of women around me that COVER each other when we hit a patch of our life that needs a little warmth, love and comfort.
I am blessed with an amazingly perfect BLANKET - carefully designed with love, intention, selflessness, and even perfect in it's flaws and frays......

I am recovering from surgery & in an instant these women surrounded me, COVERED ME - showed up at the hospital, sent e-mails and calls of encouragement, facebook messages,have prayed for me, have taken time and money to feed my family for over a week, washed dishes, given me hugs, taken my kids to and from school...........have loved me well and kept me warm!

A blog entry that my best friend Julie shared this e-mail with me as she was arranging meals for me:

When I sent out the initial email I talked about a blog I recently read that talked about her close network of friends that she refers  to as 'the net'...there to catch each other when they need it.  

This woman's blog is too cool. You have to read the birth story of her daughter who has downs.  AMAZING.  

But first, here is the post I was talking about...  "The Net"   

You are an amazing friend, Ashley and the amount of women who are a part of your 'net' is a testament to the kind of friend you are.  

I know it is hard for you to receive but know that we want to help you because of the kind of friend you are to everyone else.  

love you!!

Thank you Julie for sharing this and provoking reflection, gratefulness and a new perspective for my recovery.  Instead of being frustrated with I cannot do - I can focus on what I am gaining right now.

When I read the blog entry - it sent me into a grateful reflection of the women (& their beautiful families) that God has strategically placed in my life and me into theirs.  I decided to name our group of women. Each hold their own pain, loss, joys, triumph, gifts -  being used for purpose.  With love behind it all - we are all sewn together. "THE BLANKET"
They have covered me in love - not just these last few weeks, but almost 3 years ago (oh my, can't believe it has been that long) when we said goodbye to my sweet mom.  Oh how I needed them then......and they showed up in ways that I will be thankful for and carry with me forever.

Sometimes they show up in small times of need - encouragement for a race I have or just sharing perspective for a rough day .......... and then there's the big ones, that take us all covering each other until we are warm enough.......rested enough.....repaired enough.......loved on enough...........
to take our place in "the blanket" and are ready & able to cover someone else.
It is amazing how we are all connected.

Each unique and planned for their place.  Some are family and friends who are a part of my every day, and some are just as important to my life - they reach out and respond in a time of need.  All of our lives go through ups and downs - times when we give to each other and times when parts of "the blanket" are frayed and need to take time for repair -  and they receive covering.  We share in each other's joys and tragedies, we celebrate and we cry together and I am left in "awe" of God's obvious construction of this beautiful piece of His art work.  A perfect pattern........

A little piece of the LOVE sent my way his week- a breakfast basket
 from my beautiful friends Eryn & Audrey!!

The Blanket - MY BLANKET..........
I am simply blessed and deeply grateful.  
Thank you for COVERING me ladies.  I am staying warm, recovering well and feeling VERY loved  and will be ready and honored to re-claim my piece of the blanket and cover you soon!!

Who covers or catches you in your life???
Maybe think of letting them know how grateful you are for them.......

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Post-surgery tailgating and my underwear in a Bio Hazard bag = interesting weekend

The infamous Warrior Dash - where mud, fun, & challenge collide.  That's what I had marked on my calendar for Sunday...............Not so much!

This is what I wore proud this weekend

Last week I posted about going into the emergency room and being diagnosed with kidney stones.  I was sent home with pain meds and told to wait for it to pass.  Well, things changed.  I ended up with a high fever and feeling significantly worse - and a lot of the severe pain was in my abdomen.  Back to the hospital I went. After 9 hours of exams, tests, scans and 3 different doctors - I had an answer.  Ruptured Ovarian cyst that was still bleeding.  I needed surgery.......

Surgery went well.
Home recovering (slower than I want to be - but indeed on the mend).
Still trying to digest how this will effect my running.  My doctor said it will take a month to get my blood supply fully back and though the incisions are small, that they did do a lot internally and I need to give everything time to heal.  She said I need to start off with walking when I am in the clear.....WALKING??  Starting over??? Like I said - Still digesting that piece of this.

But - what I am SO grateful for is that what I am going through is mild compared to other health issues those around me have and are facing.  I can only claim gratefulness for that.

And a few things to laugh about..........
Some of you know that I am extremely blessed with a lot of family near me.  So- I had quite the support team there between family and friends.  My dad and stepmom were at the beach when I went into the hospital and when my sister called them, they packed up and headed to the hospital with their camper trailer in tow.  
They all waited around to hear that "All was good" after surgery and then...................WENT SURGERY TAIL-GATING!!  Haven't you heard of it?? It's the latest craze.
Yes, they all the gathered around the back of the camper, pulled out camping chairs, chips and salsa & BEER - and had a little tailgate party in the hospital parking lot.  Keeping it Classy............

Gotta love my family & friends!!  This isn't everyone, but SO glad my sister
got a picture.  Makes me smile!!

 And if the weekends events were not memorable enough.....
When my husband was getting things together in the hospital to head home - we found this:
My underwear - SERIOUSLY???? In a Biohazard bag!!  Is that necessary???  Cracks me up!!!

Who needs the Warrior Dash when you have tailgating and underwear in a Biohazard bag.....
Back to recovering :)  .

Friday, September 9, 2011

Do you listen to your body??

Something is just off...........
That is what I kept thinking last week.  I felt really run down - which as mom's isn't THAT unusual.
I kept getting achy - especially in my back.  But I wasn't sick.  So I just kept going.  I even went to bed at 8:00 (which s REALLY early for me) one night to hopefully - sleep it off. It was the week before school started and I had a lot to do.  Who wouldn't be worn down - right?  Still - something just wasn't right.
Some girlfriends & I had a girl's weekend planned for the Eugene Women's Half Marathon this last weekend.  It was so fun (more on that later) & I decided since I hadn't felt so good that week and wanted to challenge myself to just "enjoy" a race that I would help my sweet friend Meredith pace herself for a PR.  I have always been intrigued by pacers and wondered if I had it in me to help keep someone at a consistent pace.  I have also been blessed with having friends of mine PUSH me during training runs and REALLY appreciated it - so, I wanted to do it for my friend.  The race went well, Meredith PR'd :) and I felt ok.

The Ladies that ran-  Smiling after the 13.1 was complete!!
More to come about our fun weekend!!

Back at home - I still felt a little off, tired (but who isn't after a race).  Tuesday morning - the kids first day of school!!  My baby's girl's 1st Day of Kindergarten.  My Little Buddy's 1st Day of 2nd Grade. Even amongst all the excitement and tears (mine not theirs) - I was feeling nauseous,  run down -  and was trying to think how you go to your doctor and say, "I know myself -  and something is off."................

First, some pictures of our special morning:

I found this necklace for my sweet girl  that I saved for Kindergarten -
Says "Find your Sparkle"

I think she liked it!!
YES- my little buddy got a school treat too!!

By Babies!!

Her first school desk!!  Brother showed her the ropes!

Can't believe you are already in 2nd Grade - we love you buddy!!!
My handsome boys!!

So - we had a great day!!  But that night - in the middle of the night.  I got sharp pains in my lower abdominal and my lower back ............the WORST pain I have ever felt in my life.  As things got worse - not better - we headed to the ER.  After some tests and scans the Doctor finally gave resolve to the "off" feeling I had all week that had finally come to fruition - I had (& still have) kidney stones.
And yes - I can fully claim that the pain is worse than childbirth!  
So - I am left with an answer.  
Left praying that it passes SOON! 
Thankful for good pain meds
Thankful for my amazing husband, family & friends that have taken care of us
Thankful it hit after our "girl's weekend" & after the 1st day of school
Confused as what this means for this runner with dehydration issues.  Since they said that I will be prone to them now and that dehydration is one of the main causes.........

It has left me a little more confident in the ability to know when something is "off".  Not sure what I would have done different - but certainly motivates me to stay aware of what my body is telling me and trust my instincts.
Do you listen to your body???

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My Dad Rocks & a Little H2C Love!

I feel like I just have to be a little bit of a brat & go back to being a 5 year old & say - "Neener, Neener - MY DAD can run faster than your dad"!!
Ok - now that I got that out - I am SO proud of my dad who just ran his 1st Hood to Coast race this last weekend and ROCKED IT!!  He ran on a team with the company my brother-in-law works for, and was at least 15 years the senior on the team.  He ran strong - first 2 legs were sub 8 miles and he finished his last leg strong with 7 minute miles.  I hope I am running that strong in my late 50's or even 5 years from now for that matter!! You ROCK Dad!
My Amazing Dad after his 1st leg - H2C 2011

Yes, I am doing a mini race report for my dad.  Maybe a little silly, but I am  - and always will be a Daddy's girl.  My first memories of running are with my dad around our old neighborhood.  I am blessed to have such an amazing man in my life that showed me what to expect from someone who loves me & has shown me so much about who I hope to be and pray for my kids to be.
Oh and he gave some pretty good running genes.....

You can't be a runner in the Northwest and not understand the excitement around the Hood to Coast race and be a little excited for all the runners that weekend and yes - maybe even a little jealous.  It has been a while since I have ran H2C - the last few years I have had the opportunity to run on a team, but we have had a girl's trip 2  years in a row to the Eugene's Women's Half Marathon (which is a blast!!) the weekend after the race and my sweet hubby and kiddos are patient enough with love of running. But I  can't help but get excited for everyone. It was so much fun talking to my dad all weekend and keeping updated on The Nuun Blogger Team through Amanda , Harmony,, Dorothy & Jess .
I may just have to suck it up, butter my hubby up and take 2 weekends in a row away & race it next year!! Way to go everybody - so proud of you.  Thanks for taking us along on the journey.

Back to the Daddy's Girl for a minute......
In my little lull this summer, I failed to do a race report on one of my favorite races ever!!!  My dad & I did a half marathon (his first) on the Father's Day together this year.  It was such a blessing to run beside one of the biggest influences in my life - running and otherwise.  Thanks for the memories dad - can't wait for the next!!
A few pics from our day.............

Happy Father's Day Dad!!! Inaugural Vancouver Marathon & 1/2

My sweet hubby to came with the kids on HIS Father's Day too - love you honey!!

                          Our Amazing cheering section!!

And I can't leave out one of the highlights of that day - My sweet friend Meredith was running her 1st Marathon that day and I was so incredibly blessed to meet her a few miles from the finish line and run her in...............I will love that memory FOREVER!!

 She cracked me up with her comments -
look how proud of you!!

Finish line smiles!!

Ok - so a shout out to my dad & Hood to Coast  - and a little catch up.  Let's play catch up soon!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

There is Value in the Lulls


A temporary interval of quiet or lack of activity.  

My lull in training has been playing mind games with me and keeping me away from posting and even really taking part in the blog world. I have tricked myself into feeling almost unworthy as of late.  Let me explain my little pity party that has been playing out in my head like the confidence of a 13 year old girl not knowing if she is really cool enough anymore for the "in crowd".

FYI - all of you are the "in crowd"

I knew that coming off of training and running the Boston Marathon, that I was going to take a "Marathon Training" break for the sake of my family and to give a little more time to the family and friends around me that have been so supportive.  Marathon training had been a major focus for me for 2 years and really felt like I needed to let my training be less of what controlled my time and energy -  and take some time to be intentional and more invested in those right in front of me. I just didn't realize what a "funk" that decision would put me in.
 It isn't that I would disappear into a deep dark training cage and not immerse until after a race, but if I am being really honest, my mind and energy were very consumed by my training - how late I should stay up , how I was going to fit my run into a day & still make play dates and clean my house and  whether I should have that glass of wine or will that date night food cause tummy issues tomorrow morning on my run.  And if didn't get my runs done early - the subject of when & how that would happen later sabotaged me being completely present in the moment I was currently in.......ect. ect.
Some of you out there are GREAT at the balancing act and I can learn from you, but i needed a little LULL to figure it all out.

I had no intention of NOT running. Just not "full on" training.  I have an few races on the schedule and I am "maintaining" for now. I just didn't realize what a "funk" the decision to slow down would put me in.
Somehow, letting  my miles scale back in training also diminished my own value and confidence as an athlete, mom, friend, sister, daughter.....  First - the timing after Boston was the end of school time.  Being room mom for my 1st grader and involved at my daughters pre-school, - it was perfect timing to put my energy into the end of the school year activities.  My husband also has a basketball/golf tournament every year with his best friends.  I had plenty of "creative energy" I needed and wanted to put toward that event with all the food, activities and "fun" to be planned. Which for those of you that don't know, before I had the privilege of being a Stay at Home Mom - I was an interior Decorator and worked in event planning.  So - these type of activities fill my creative "love tank" and and I LOVE it.  So - my "maintenance" running schedule wasn't feeling too "under-par" YET!!

When school and all the events to plan came to a halt - I hit a MAJOR funk.  Everything that had been making me feel valuable wasn't there.
*The school didn't need me anymore
*Our MOM's group that I served on was on summer break
*What could I be training for now????? I just ran Boston
*There wasn't even a over the top event in sight to plan to fuel my creative juices
*Family junk going on that is just a throbbing reminder of how different things are without my sweet mom

It ALL hit at once & it has all played out pretty ugly in my head. As I recently shared my friend Sarah (she wrote about her transition in running here) - I didn't realize how much running defined me (at least in my own head).  For months I was able to claim that I was training for Boston-  and before that I was always able to share what training plan I was following. But I was suddenly feeling as though I couldn't even really claim running or at least wasn't worthy of writing about it.  It even kept me from following some of my favorite running blogs - out of not wanting to feel guilty that I wasn't giving it my all.
So obviously my rational self knows that I am being ridiculous, but my emotional self likes to take over  - and sadly it has been for a while.  So luckily,  as ALL lulls or hardships in our lives, God has something for us to learn from it.  He has shown me a lot during this little "down time".

It has kept me from some things that I LOVE.  The joy of running - whether for an big race or just because it is something that offers me my own time, my therapy.  Writing - I love writing and somehow I felt like like I didn't have anything of value to share - running or otherwise.  Why??  because I didn't have  a great training plan to share or a killer run I just went on????  When I read other peoples journeys - I am inspired, gain new perspective & entertained- whether it is impressive(training wise) or not.  Why am I putting this type of pressure on myself?

I have realized I can only diminish what is going on in my life.

I have been trying to process all of this little by little over the last month or so. But we were at the beach last week and for many reason I always gain a little clarity there.  All the family time I have had with my kids & hubby & my family that visited are certainly looking pretty good on my training/life schedule.  I also had a great run with my cousin at the beach - worthy of being written in bold on my training plan.  It wasn't memorable because we ran fast or long.  It was valuable to  me because I was with someone I love - we talked, laughed, took in the scenery of the ocean;  and yes - even sweated a little. And I was reminded of how complicated I am making all of this - I just enjoyed the run. 

 A lot of my runs lately have been with thoughts spinning through my head of what "I am losing not taking on as many miles" or "how much I am NOT doing". THOSE THOUGHTS ARE DOING ME NO GOOD!!!

And for a fun reminder of how much I am missing the blog community - I ran into this smiling face in Cannon Beach.....

Jill & I - both enjoying some family time at Cannon Beach.  So fun to run into a "running blog" friend!!

Even though my training plan hasn't looked so "hardcore" and I have been doing a little sulking - I HAVE managed to spend my time wisely hanging out with family and friends.  And it isn't that I am not running at all - I did run a race with my dad on father's day(which I will share in a later post - It was to fun & special not to share).  And have a few half's on the calendar.  So, mostly it is just my head that has been in what I call a "HOT MESS".

 Right now my training/life plan may not be loaded with enough "killer runs"to capture a PR on my next few races and will reflect a little more of my feet hitting the pavement at the zoo with my kiddos, swimming at the grandparents, connecting with a friend over a play date or coffee, taking on some slower miles with my little sis training for a half marathon...........but I am going to remember that it all adds just as much value to my journey. I am the only one that can turn it into a less than perfect plan!  I am going to make ALL the miles count and be content with what I choose to do with my time.

My Blog is Called "Inspired Miles of a Mom" for goodness sake - and how boring if running is the only thing that inspires this Mom's journey.

Loved this Quote I got through e-mail.  It seemed so fitting -
"Whatever you may be missing right now - a person, a place, a feeling, maybe you are injured and missing running - whatever it is, have peace and take heart - remember that any goodbye makes room for a hello"
- Kristin Armstrong

 I see this little Lull coming to an end...............