Today We Ride!

So today I decided to ride instead of run. The 2015 LA Marathon was this morning! My goodness, it was beautiful! My friend, Eric, and I went for a bike ride down the course to the finish line with intentions of cheering on the runners, whether they were teammates of ours or not. Well, there we a few mishaps throughout the day, but that makes for a great story!

I got off work at 730am and headed home to get ready for the event! Showered and put on my team running shirt, packed my backpack and put my padded shorts on! Sounds like I’m ready, doesn’t it! Well, I was but my bike wasn’t… My bike tires are flat and I don’t have the correct pump for it!

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible”

Matthew 19:26

Running late, as usual, Eric finally shows up to my house and we load up. On our way to LA we hit a Big 5 so I can buy a pump that will work on both of our bikes! We drove into LA and found a side street by a Starbucks to leave the car and start our ride!

We are well into our second mile and I hear a loud clinking noise. I looked back to find Eric walking his broken bike over to the near-by curb. Runners are passing us as we sit on the side of the route cheering us on! Haha! It was so funny how the roles turned. Quick thinking lead us to the decision that Eric just needs to buy a better bike! I let him take my bike to go get the truck and come back to pick me and the broken bicycle up. We headed to the nearest bike shop to pick out a beauty!

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The bike shop owner saw what a rough start we were having so offered a cold drink while we found the perfect bike! Since we were in a rush to get back, it didn’t take too long. We picked out a beauty, Eric tried it out, and back to Starbucks we went. Finally back on the road, riding the course and cheering the runners on like planned. We were passing people that passed us an hour prior. It was fun to see their faces when they recognized we were the ones struggling. Here they were, mile 20 and seeing how the struggle is always temporary. They started picking up their feet a little higher and were singing along with my music. It was awesome seeing all the different ages out there and hearing their stories!

We finally made our way to the finish and found our girl, Jessi! She finished running her very first full marathon! I don’t think our small family of runners could have been any more proud! To celebrate, we parked our bikes at Buca Di Beppo and had pasta, pizza, and beer!

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It was such a lovely ride down to the beach, hearing inspirational stories, and eating to celebrate our loved ones accomplishment! Now… Well, now Eric and I have to ride back to the car. That ride was slightly down hill the whole way… That meant our ride back was going to be just as long, but slightly up hill the entire way. All I could think was, ‘Thank God we are parked by Starbucks!’

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Deliciousness!!!

So I have been having a hard time with this lactose intolerant life style. Here I am finding myself teeter-tottering with dairy and non-dairy! Well, I am quiet the waffle master! I will make them, eat them, order them, whatever! One time, on a trip in Fiji, all I did was eat waffles. Literally, I ate at least 2 waffles a day! It was wonderful!

Well, a few weeks ago my waffle maker was tired of the over use and lit itself on fire. Talk about going out with a bang! So I’ve been making the next best thing of course… Pancakes! Since I’m as active as I am, I’ve been trying to add more protein to my meals.

Pancakes, that have more protein, and no milk… This includes chocolate! I avoid caffeine and sodium as much as I can with my heart like this. So I came up with the most amazing treat/meal!!

Banana, blue berry pancakes!!

1 banana
2 eggs
1 cup blue berries (I’ve also done raspberries)

I smash the bananas up so it’s one gooey consistency. Then I scramble in the two eggs. Once it’s all mixed together I pour the blue berries in! (This is a lot of berries, so use more or less to your likings.) Cook the mixture on a flat pan just like you’d do any pancakes. This batter takes a little longer than regular ones so be patient! Leave the flame low and just let it cook a little longer.

These are soo delicious! It gives you potassium so you don’t cramp up on your workouts and gives you protein to help you build that muscle! The other amazing thing about protein is it’ll keep you feeling full longer! So I like to eat these as a meal with some fresh melon and a tall glass of ice water! Yum!!

And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.

Luke 12:19

You can also use chocolate chips instead and it’ll make a delicious dessert after dinner!! Sprinkle some powdered sugar on top and devour!!!

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Because I Can!

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The cold, dry air was burning my wet, dripping nose. The birds were starting to sing their morning songs. That weird lighting on the streets from the combination of the suns glow starting to shine and the street lights glow. I went for a 4 mile run this morning at 5:30am. I was determined to get out there and get back into running early mornings! I woke up and though, “I’m going to be skinny!”

Well, by the time I got about three-quarters of a mile my nose was running like Niagara Falls, my lungs were burning worse than my calves were, and I felt like my heart was in my throat. I was no longer determined and I just ran back home. My 4 mile run that used to be an easy warm up in the early morning was actually a mile and a half run in hell for me today. When I got home, I looked right at the shiny, red face in the mirror and thought to myself, what a disappointment! I beat myself up over it and then told my best friend about how down I felt.

She reminded me of why I’m even a runner to begin with! I run because I can. In high school I hated running! I hated running with a passion. You couldn’t even pay me to run without a soccer ball or softball around. To run track or cross country was such a miserable idea to me! Then, from age 18 to 20 I found myself having trouble with running. This trouble was no longer mental, it was physical this time around. If I tried to run, I’d get so light headed and weak and then pass out. I couldn’t even sing out loud in my car driving to school anymore without the fear of exhausting myself.

After a few times of passing out while hiking with my dog, Jolie, I decided to finally tell someone and get help. After many, many different doctors offices and seeing different specialist, I finally had the right medical tests done. Sitting in a cardiologists office, I was finally diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White. It was the answer to my many prayers and questions. I scheduled myself for surgery to fix the problem immediately.

16 Make sure you don’t take things for granted and go slack in working for the common good; share what you have with others. God takes particular pleasure in acts of worship – a different kind of “sacrifice” – that take place in kitchen and workplace and on the streets.
Hebrews 13:16 MSG

So today was just a rough morning. I’m about to go for a two mile jog (good or bad, doesn’t matter) and then sing my little lungs out on my way to work tonight!! Tomorrow morning I’ll give it another shot! Hope things go better!

The Right Pace

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So I have accomplished a very successful 21 days of doing the Daniel Fast. I will admit, I cheated once and ate a bite of my moms homemade pineapple upside down cake- it was delicious, but full of refined sugar. Other than that, my Lord and savior provided for me. He gave me the strength and courage to get through so much! A lot has been going on lately in my life personally, but with His grace, I’ve been just right! Here was my last devotional from the church for the fast…

“Day 21

Prayer direction:

Pray that God’s favor might be upon your family and our church as we continue to put Him first in all things.

From the Desk of Pastor Dawn Jackson…

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7 NIV

Long-distance runners know to make it over the long haul, you’ve got to have a steady pace. Run too fast, and you will burn out early and end up sidelined. Run too slow, and you minimize the potential within you. Running the right pace speeds you to the finish line and prevents injury and burnout.

Pace is also important in life. We often overestimate what we can accomplish in a short amount of time and underestimate what we can accomplish in a long amount of time. We live in a fast-paced world. Many people rush to and from exhausted at the end of each day, with nothing left to give to those closest to them. This results in shallow relationships and regret. Of course, on the other side of the spectrum are those who spin their wheels, never seeming to move forward, aimlessly distracted by insignificant pursuits.

Think also about the pace in which you live your life. With 21 days coming to an end, now would be a good time to make the necessary adjustments so that you might truly finish the race he has called you to run. Consider the following acronym as a guide in developing your pace:

Prioritize. Focus on what is most important.

Assign times of work and rest.

Consistency: doing what you say you are going to do.

Enjoy the journey.

God desires for us to have a full, abundant life, filled with meaningful relationships and the satisfaction of accomplishing purposes which honor his name. A healthy pace will empower you to both accomplish your tasks and build solid relationships.

The Lord is my pace setter…I shall not rush.

He makes me stop for quiet intervals.
He provides me with images of stillness which restore my serenity.
He leads me in the way of efficiency through calmness of mind and his guidance is peace.
Even though I have a great many things to accomplish each day, I will not fret, for his presence is here.
His timelessness, his all importance will keep me in balance.
He prepares refreshment and renewal in the midst of my activity by anointing my mind with his oils of tranquility.
My cup of joyous energy overflows.
Truly harmony and effectiveness shall be the fruits of my hours for I shall walk in the Pace of my Lord and dwell in his house for ever.
A Japanese version of the 23rd Psalm by Tokio Megashio.”

Even now that it is over, I still eat healthy (but not as healthy..) and I am still keeping my faith clear of distractions. Nothing processed about my faith! Living and loving life, with a purpose!

They Keep It Run Hundred

Every Monday I see my friend Jessi and she asks me the same thing, “are you working tonight?” And for the first time in a long time, I said no. With my new free Monday night, I joined her with her community running team. This is a group that runs the streets of LA at night. Even when it’s freezing cold, they still show up and run. While running all I could see was steam clouds all around our heads from everyone’s breaths.

I am so glad I joined her last night! It was such a wonderful experience! This running group was full of so much energy, and the artistic experience was so satisfying! Every week they run to a different artistic mural, sculpture, building and such! It’s so intriguing to learn about the local up and coming artists and really see what their personally putting out there!

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While out running the streets, I learned a few things about running at night that I don’t think I would have ever guessed without experiencing this specific run myself. The first thing I learned was, how beautiful the city of Los Angeles is. When I think LA, I think of crazy people in the streets of Hollywood, tall buildings, and crowded highways. With the help of Eric and BlackListLA, I saw the art in the streets. I witnessed the power of positivity and self expressions! It was amazing!

“Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.”

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

The second thing I learned was the person wearing too much Bengay was actually a genius! When we arrived at the Disney Concert Hall to get ready to start our run I noticed a few people were completely surrounded by the aroma of minty tingly-ness. While I passed certain sour smelling corners of the route, I realized the over powering smell of Bengay or Icy Hot would have been much nicer. Plus, my muscles probably would not have any objections.

The third thing I learned actually left me with a new goal for 2015. I learned that headlamps aren’t just good for spotting cracks in the concrete, but also for spotting homeless people sleeping in the way. As sad as it was, it’s the truth. We were running through downtown Los Angeles where the population of homeless is very high. The streets are lined with tents and what looks like piled up blankets. These are their homes, and as much as the group does run through the area, they are still very respectable of them.

Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.

Proverbs 14:31

I enjoyed joining them so much that for now on, if I’m not working on Monday nights, I’ll join her and the rest of her crazy running team! I plan to show up with plenty of Bengay lathered on, warm clothes, and a backpack full of food for the people we run past. It’s one thing to feel sorry for all the children in other countries who don’t have food, but how about feeding the people in our own backyards when we can. So for now on, I will bring food, not just in my car, but along with me when I run with BlackListLA!

I Thought You Said Rum…

So I belong to a community running team. We are like a big family and we spend a lot of time together. We have a big holiday party at a banquet hall where we all dress up red carpet style, eat, drink, and play music and photo slide shows! It’s a wonderful time to get together, catch up, and meet each others crazy other halves!


Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.

1 Peter 4:8

Well, as great as it all is, I work weekends and didn’t make it this year. So instead, I went to the morning after PreChristmas Hike! It was put together by one of our wonderful members for the runners, like me, who couldn’t attend. I got my invitation and the picture was people with Rumchata, Santa hats, and clearly photoshopped male models hanging out with extremely large Christmas ornaments. Well, looked fun to me! I RSVPed and signed up to bring two dozen tamales!

I’m not much of a morning person, so it was really hard to get up at the crack of dawn knowing how cold it was going to be outside. One of my running buddies picked me up at 6:30 in the morning and drove us to the base of the mountain! It was a freezing cold morning but I had my large insulated bag of hot tamales keeping my ass warm! We arrived at our meeting spot and I just saw a bunch of friends dressed up so silly! Other than all the red and green, they had high pattern socks, silly hats, and one even wore a fake Santa mustache and beard! They also all had their backpacks, water bottles, and garmin watches ready! Yup, this was for reals… we are really hiking a few miles today! All in all, it was a fantastic time!

Note to self: run and rum are two very different things!

We hiked to the top and set up all the goods on two tables. Let me tell you, for being an of health freak runners, today must have been carb day! There was food galore! Oh, and there was rum… Lots of rum! Lots of alcohol actually! Drinking at 8 in the morning was a fun experience, but not as fun as the adventure getting back down the mountain. Hahaha! Well, one of our members announced she had to use the bathroom so was going to take a short cut. Five other runners and I followed her. Her screaming bladder must have fogged her mind… “I think I made a wrong turn guys…” Oh it was wonderful! A bunch of intoxicated people dressed up like Christmas hallmark fools are now scaling down the side of the mountain! It was definitely a sight to see! Everyone worked together and made the full hike alive and not injured! Just another wild outdoor experience with my running family!

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