Wondering …

I’m puzzled. 

I was off from running for a few weeks, and now that I’m back at … My pace is better than ever. 

I’m wondering why?

See, I was running with a buddy. And loved every minute of it! Accountability. Friendship. 💚💚💚 

But I am wondering if running solo has some advantages too? 

When we ran our half marathon recently, we started together and stayed together for about 6 miles. Then, we parted. (She left me in the dust. See, I’m older and slower.) 

But, it was mile 7-13 that I ran alone. No one. Just me. Pressing through the pain and playing all the mental games one can think of just to keep going. At the point in the race when you need support, I found myself alone. 

(I must be honest and say … She was having a great race, and I told her to go … Run your race!) 

So, in all of that, while training with a buddy has great advantages, I can’t help but wonder if training alone might have a greater impact … when race day comes and you hit miles 7-13. 

On that day, it’s just me, myself, and I … Digging deep, pressing through, and aiming to finish strong. 

I guess I see it both ways … And there are advantages either way you slice it. 

But, in this season I find myself in now … Running alone is proving to be a plus. I’m learning to run hard and press on … Not for anyone else … But for my race, and for my reasons to run. 

Just a few thoughts tonight.

Anyway … Keep running any way you can … Alone or with others. (And a walk is always great too!) 



Fall Running

I love running in Fall. It’s gorgeous! But, it is chilly! And, after being off for a few weeks, it feels good to get going again!

I’m starting back slow this week with 2 mile runs. I need to build back up. I’ll increase a little each of the coming weeks. I’m hoping my time off won’t set me back too much.

This morning, as I looked at the weather app on my phone, and it said 39 degrees. Honestly, I wanted roll over and not get up. But, I’m on a new schedule and need to be ready for the Thanksgiving 10k.

So, I pulled myself up. Put on my clothes and tied up my shoes … Grabbed my ear muffs … And off I went.

It was gorgeous. Running in 39 degrees feels like it’s about 59. So it was perfect. Quiet.  Early.  And a chill in the air.  Ahhhhhh!

See … I have a bad habit of running my best pace in my first mile. And actually, your first mile should be the slowest. You should increase in pace as you go. I’m usually the opposite. So I’ve been trying to focus on going out slow, and saving my strength to finish strong. It’s harder to do than it sounds.

This morning I did that! Huge! So excited!! And I actually ran my best pace in 6 months. It was great. I felt strong.

I wondered if I should have kept going. But I know I need build back up slowly.  I do wonder if the few weeks have helped me … I’m thinking maybe so. 😉

Stay strong! Have a great weekend!



Let’s Do Another One!

Hi friends,

Well, I am actually getting ready to sign up for another race! Yep, it’s true! And, I’m kinda’ excited about it already.

I’ve not run since Sept. 19 (the half marathon race) … due to a conference and then a week of sickness. So, I’ve just not been out much. BUT, I got out last night and ran 2 miles. So, here we go! Off and running again.

This race is a 10K in Cincinnati over Thanksgiving. I’m hoping to get my niece to run with me, and my mom is thinking about walking it. So, it would be a fun morning … before all the turkey!!

I also got (another) pair of new shoes … I’m trying to see if my knee problem, during my half training weeks, was due to a wrong shoe purchase. I went back to the brand I have used before, and am hoping it will solve the knee issue. 🙂 (Only time will tell!)

I thought I’d post this training schedule I’m working on … FYI for you, and accountability for me.

(6 weeks to 10K)

So, that’s the latest from here for now.

Until later … keep running!


We did it!!

We (my running buddy, Sarah, and I) did it … 13.1 miles at the Women Rock Chicago race on September 19.  

It was a good day … We had a wonderful time. We trained hard. We put in our miles. And we finished!!! 

It did not rain (thankful for that!!). And, even though there were very strong winds on the lakefront, we pressed through it.

We ran the first 6 miles together and then split up. Sarah was running strong and I wanted her to run her race. I did okay until about mile 10, and my knee started hurting. So, I eased up and walked some of the last 3 miles. Glad I finished, but do wish I’d had a better time. 😉 

Here are a few pictures that sum up the journey.  They express the day better than I can in words. 



Bye-Bye Burr

Just thought I’d post a quick update here … since it’s been awhile.

I did decide to register for a half marathon run! I’m careful with the knee, but I am training. The race is Sat., Sept. 19, in Chicago. I cannot wait! I’ve been training and running with a sweet friend, and we are doing well at getting our miles in each week. 🙂 We did our long 10-mile run last weekend, and this weekend we will go out for 11 miles. Whew!

During the weeks, we do shorter runs of anywhere from 3 to 6 miles. And, I’ve been doing all I can to run in the mornings. See, I’ve always run in the evenings after work, but when I decided to do this one, I wanted to be able to keep my evenings open for other things, so that meant learning to run in the morning. (And, yes, it IS hard, and it does NOT get easier … but, I am doing it. This discipline alone is teaching me a lot! Maybe that’s another post someday.)

As I’ve run this week, I’ve been reminded of the expression “do you have a burr in your saddle?” This thought has crossed my mind a lot this week, and God is using it in my life as a reminder of some other things too.

See, on Monday when I went out to run. I laced up my shoes and hit the road. About a half mile in, I felt a very small pebble or grain of sand in my right shoe. It felt odd. It was affecting my run. But, I didn’t stop and remove it. I didn’t want to take the time. Instead, I kept running. But, as I ran, my mind was filled with things like: “this is bothering me” … “this run is hard” … “it’s hot and humid” … etc. I basically complained the entire run!!

So, today (Thursday), I laced up my shoes and got ready to head out. (And, for those who know me, lacing up my shoes is a big deal. They have to tied just right! It’s important, and takes time. Yes, I am a bit obsessive about it.) But, before I left the house, I felt the little pebble in my right shoe again. I thought “oh no, it’s still there.”

THIS time, I stopped, I sat down, untied and unlaced my right shoe, shook it real good, and the pebble came falling out. It was so very small! But, it was there. I wondered how something so small could affect my entire run on Monday. Then, I laced and tied back up, and headed out.

As I hit the road, it felt great … the pebble was gone, it was a cool morning, I knew I have 5 miles to run, but I felt like it was freeing. That one tiny little pebble was gone! And, I could run well.

I felt God gently reminding me … “Monica, is there a burr in your saddle?” … “you are irritated and you’ve been complaining a lot lately” … “what is it?” … He was showing me that there are some “little pebbles in my shoes” and my heart/mind are distracted.

He’s showing me that I have been complaining a lot lately, about little things, big things, and some days (honestly) about everything. And, WOW, that’s SO not good!!! He’s pointing out the “burr in my saddle” … the “pebble in my shoe” … and, how it is causing me to get off track in my Christian walk. It distracts me. It hinders me. It keeps me from joy and fullness. It takes my focus off of Christ and puts it on my circumstances (of which, I know Jesus is bigger than ANY of it!). But, it’s been a burr.

So, I’m asking God who take this complaining and critical heart of mine, and to somehow change, transform, and move me to have a heart of compassion for that circumstance, or person, or situation that is at the center of my complaining moment.

I know it won’t happen quickly … it will take time! (After all, I had to stop, sit down, untie and unlace my shoe to get the pebble out of my right shoe that morning.) So, this will take time. I might need to stop in my tracks, sit down, and take some actions to get things back on track.

The thing is … I know that once it’s gone … I will be free! (And, running free from distraction is one of the best runs!) I want to be that way in walk with Christ … free, full, and fruitful for the Kingdom.

Thanks for letting me share!

Blessings on your day!

A Bum Knee 


Well, I’m caring for my bum knee tonight. 

I seem to have developed some pain on the lower inside of my left knee. Not sure what it is, so I’m taking it easy for a few days.  

According to my “coach” — icing it will help. So, I’m icing it regularly at this point. And trying to figure out what it could be. 

I think it might be a mixture of a few things:

1.  I need new running shoes. 

2.  I am not stretching well before my running. 

3.  I tackled too much distance too quickly after not running for a long season. 


So, if you’re out there working out … Be smart. Be wise. And, stretch well!!


I Did It!

hi friends,

the race went really well!!! it was such a gorgeous morning to run – perfect temps, cool breeze, and lots of sunshine!

my friend pulled in my driveway at 5:30 am, and off we went to downtown south bend. we got there in time to watch the full marathon runners depart from the start line.

then, our 5K group had the 6:30 am start time. so, we took our places among the correct coral to start. she, in the 9 minute mile coral, and myself … well, i was in the 11+ minute coral (or, at the back of the pack).

then, “bang” … and, off we went! a beautiful morning for a 3.2 mile run.

overall, the course is pretty flat. there was one hill, which they called “hallelujah hill” … and, it was a party once you made it to the top. needless to say, i walked it! but, i did run most of the entire 3.2 miles. i had a short walk at a water spot, and then about the last 1/2 mile, i walked for a bit to catch my breath. and, just when i needed it, i saw another friend at the last 1/2 mile, and we finished together! so fun!!! … i wanted to cross the finish line running! and, we did!

my time was 36:55. not super great, but not too bad either. i was pleased. i only decided to enter the race a couple of week ago, so i had little time to prep.

fun day!


here are a few pics! hope you enjoy them!

My bib

My bib

Before the start!

Before the start!

Sun Rise

Sun Rise

Starting Line

Starting Line

At the finish!

At the finish!