Tag Archives: running

Stop Crying and Run

There are exactly seven days between me and the Family Nurse Practitioner board exam and I can honestly say I have never been more nervous about a test in my life. It’s been a gradual onset of anxiety. Call it insidious if you like. I’ve taken a fair few standardized tests in my day without wanting to throw up. I do pretty well on tests. I even sort of like studying. This one has been different. Studying for this one has made me want to puke on an at least daily basis for two weeks now. I think it has something to do with the fact that our cross-country move hinges on my ability to answer 150 clinical questions. 150 giant questions that stand on a hill mocking me, like some computerized Goliath. Today, instead of just feeling a little sick, I kicked it up a notch and broke down crying. That’s right. A nauseated, ugly cry fest on the back porch. I stopped snuffling just long enough to call my husband at work because he loves when I call him at work for him to fix my problems.

Roger: “Hey babe, how you doing?”Me: [bravely] “Well, actually…not that great. [un-bravely] I just failed a practice exam and I’m afraaaaaaid and I’m paaaanicking and I’m cryyyyyyyying and this is the woooooorst feeeeeling ever. Ever. EVER.”
Roger: [kindly] “Let me pray for you….[awesome prayer]….”
Me: Snuffle snuffle snuuuuuuuufffle
Roger: Stop crying and go running. NOW.
Me: Snuuff-
Roger: NOW.

At which point I decided my husband didn’t know what I was dealing with and a run wouldn’t make me know everything and solve all my problems. But whatever. I’ll go because the alternative is to break things or crawl in bed and cry till my eyes swell shut. So I ran. And ran. And didn’t stop until my legs felt like they’d fall off. It only took about a mile to realize my husband is BRILLIANT. And about two miles to remember how good my God is and how much he loves me. Around three miles I wanted to lay down on the sidewalk but then remembered how I am supposed to be strong and courageous. I remembered that God did not give me a spirit of fear or timidity. He has given me power and peace and joy. He has not brought me this far to leave me puking and crying on the back porch.

I ran for an hour and returned home ready to kick some giant exam butt. Our future absolutely does not hinge on my ability to answer 150 questions. It hinges on a God who is big and good and has an awesome calling on my life. If I truly believe that, then I can fight this Goliath with my bare hands and a sling shot. My God has come through in every other fight I’ve been in. If he helped me slay those lions and bears then he’s got this one covered too. If you’re crying on the back porch today, stop it. Go do whatever you gotta do to get your head on straight and remember who the heck you are.

And go kick some Goliath butt.


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Counting by Saturdays

Three Saturdays ago, I had a lunch that changed a lot of things. I already knew that Hayashi’s You Make the Roll Sushi is the best place to get sushi (Ever. Anywhere.) But now I am fairly convinced that it’s magic. And I have to keep getting weekly Ninja Rolls with special aioli sauce or the spell might be broken.

But that’s another post for another time. The point is, I am now counting my life in Saturdays.

Two Saturdays ago, one of my little brother’s best friends got married. I watched this kid grow up next door and both of our families have gone through a whole lot of life together. It made me feel old and happy and proud to see my little brother stand by his friend in dress clothes and Filipino sash. (Yes. Sam wore it and rocked it.) And it made me feel young and sad and humbled to hear my dad tell this new sweet couple what marriage really meant. In sickness and in health, for better or for worse. Both giving 100% because if one person has a bad day, you’re still covered. And then we dried our tears and ate more Hawaiian-Filipino food than I thought existed on the island.


So handsome.

Last Saturday, my nursing school friend Ellen came to visit for the weekend. Ellen is the first friend I made at the start of my RN-crazy-year. We discovered quickly that we were both tall and had names that start with “E” and we better be friends since everyone thought we were the same person. Past that, we also discovered we both had parents with cancer. She lost her dad, I lost my mom. We both liked to run and eat and read textbooks at the beach. And we spent about the same amount of time on studying for exams. Which in my opinion is the exact right amount. So this weekend we studied minimally, ate maximally, and went to the beach as much as possible.


Friends forever.

This Saturday will be the first social event of the 20s and 30s demographic of Living Stones Church. There are about thirty of us that fit the two decade span. Some single, some married. All very cool. And we have done enough together to warrant a cool name. Kainos. It’s Greek for “fresh” and “new” and I can’t help hearing it in Mr. Portakalos’ voice from My Big Fat Greek Wedding.



So, if you are in Kona this Saturday and you are between 20 and 39 and 11/12ths, get in touch. It will be fresh and fun I promise.

Happy Tuesday everybody. I’m going for my weekly magic Ninja roll.

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The Dekatriathon

I’ve been missing my Super Runner Friends on Oahu that used to let me draft off of their super powers as they ran 5 miles like it ain’t no thing. They’re the ones that are running marathons in the double digits before thirty-years-old. I’m the one that has yet to break double digit mileage in one day.

Audrey is the leader of the pack when it comes to running.

The 8 mile Great Aloha Run is my one and only racing achievement and this year’s race is right around the corner. But this year, I’m using it for training. For a Half Marathon. Which I wish they would give its own name. Why diminish it with “Half”? It’s 13.1 miles! Let’s look up the Greek and call it…a Dekatriathon. Oh, I like that.

I have yet to find the Dekatriathon that I want to try. There’s one in Hilo on March 18 and the Wahine “Half-Marathon” in Honolulu on April 1. Their website gives me pause. Check it out. That’s a whole lot of feathers and tiaras. But it did have my name on it.

Well, most of my name.

On Tuesday, I ran with my Super Triathalon Trainer friend, Emilee. She can swim for days and is a rock-star on wheels but is just back at running after a stress-fracture in her foot. We took it easy on a grassy three mile run and she let me pretend to be Super Runner. She’s so nice to me like that.

So yesterday I decided to see how far I could go by running a fun little loop of 6 miles, a lot of which is downhill. I did it to the tune of some really lame “club cardio” music and went over opioid pharmacology in my head.

Bad Romance is NOT the correct soundtrack for panaoramic views of the coast.

I think if I switch up the tunes, keep up the training with Emilee, and keep memorizing drugs along the way, I got this dekatriathon in the bag.

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I’m only in it for the Participation Ribbons.

Now that I am a registered nurse, I am not busy at all. As several helpful people have pointed out, I have only had my license for two weeks so the jobless state should not be bothering me yet. And for the most part it is not bothering me at all. I focus on classes, some volunteering, job-searching, spending time with the family, and exercise.

A lot of exercise.

I know, I know. As my good friend Audrey would say, “my life is so hard”. My entry today is very Audrey-esque because she writes a runner blog that will inspire you like it has inspired me.

Yesterday I spent some motivation money on running gear since I’ve been building up my mileage. I’m not a competitor so I need to do what I can to keep going. Check out the neat-o arm bands for my iPhone.

I splurged on last season's Asics GT2160. Not sure I've ever known my shoe model before.

Running and I have a spotty history. Twin sister and I started running at 14 because we were bored. We had just returned from Kona after three months in Asia with our family. It was still a new town for us, we had very few friends, and it was a hot summer to spend inside our little two bedroom cottage. I remember Dad telling us we should try to run down to the Kona Pier and he would pick us up there.

We started running those 2 or 3 miles every day and we kept up the tradition through the teenage years. We ran to outrigger paddling practice. We ran to the Old Airport Beach Park for soccer practice. Somehow Sara got skinny and I got, let’s just say “muscular”. By the time I was 19, I decided I hated running and I did it very sporadically through college. And dropped 20 pounds. What the heck. Running, you mock me.

But, when the mid-twenties became the late twenties, I realized that this new found metabolism wasn’t going to last forever so I hit the pavement again. And this time I loved it. Mostly because I have so many friends that run and it became social…which is one of my favorite things! (Have I told you how much I love people?) Audrey especially helped me to learn to love running on Oahu with all of the coastal areas and pretty hills in Manoa. And now that I am back in Kona, I am running the old twin sister routes. Good times.

But now, since I have a ridiculous amount of free time (the calm between the storms, people), I have also picked up another old love. Swimming.

When I was in elementary and middle school in Florida, we were on a summer swim team for three years. Running was Dad’s doing. Swimming was Mom’s. She had great memories of her swim team days and signed us up gleefully for our own memories.  The Oviedo Barracudas. We were awesome. By the second season, the Barley girls were famous. Because Sara was fast and ribbon-winning, Megan was the only one in her age bracket so the whole pool cheered her little one-person races, and Erin was the sister that made lots of friends and got participation ribbons. That team was a cool club of little kids with ill-fitting swim caps, even iller-fitting speedos and college-aged coaches.

And then, since we loved swimming so much, Mom signed us up for the “YEAR ROUND” swim team. The Blue Dolfins. kicked. my. butt. All of the sudden, the cool kids were the ones who trained for Junior Olympics, wore multiple old suits for “drag training” and showered in the locker room. I still remember trying to squeeze two suits on and getting into the pool without bending at the waist. We were expected to swim 1,000 yard warm-ups and then sprints on the clock. I can hear Coach Dale yelling out “On the 30…go!” “Get that bottom up, scissor those legs…what kind of flip turn was that?” My flip turns usually mutated into the kind that took the least amount of energy so that I could continue swimming without being the lame-o that hung on the lane lines part way through practice. And our wonderful parents humored us by letting us shower in the locker rooms even though we lived ten minutes away.

The really great thing is, that swim team not only humbled my bad Barracuda self, it gave me life-long swimming skills that I have never forgotten. I haven’t been on a swim team since (unless you count a semester long Advanced Swimming class in college) but it is a skill set that I have in my exercise arsenal. I even did an ocean swim with some great ladies who have now talked me into trying out the Master’s swim team. I know full well that I won’t keep up but that’s OK. They can kick my butt too.

I may run the occasional 10K but I’m not a competitor. I’m in it for the friends and the participation ribbons. And hopefully to avoid getting too “muscular”. So,thanks Mom. And Dad. And Audrey. And all of my other exercise-y friends. Because of you, when the late-twenties become the early thirties, maybe I’ll be ready.

If you want to come along, I will get you a ribbon too.

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A Lot of Good

There’s been a lot of good this week. Fall has begun. We are easing into the holiday season and I have a feeling that baby steps are best.

I bought a few candles and I’m ignoring anything red and green. Not because I don’t like early Christmas (Merry Halloween is my motto) but because I have a sneaking suspicion that I will not be as emotionally teflon as I had hoped when I start to hear those holiday melodies. The Macy’s homeware section is already off-limits.

Brother came over from Oahu for his 20th birthday and brought the sweet and lovely Jen with him. Games were played, movies were watched, and Oreo dirt cake was eaten. We passed another bittersweet milestone as we celebrated the second family birthday since Mom died. Megan found something a few weeks ago that we knew would bust the tears out but we did it anyway. It was just too good.

She’s been reading through Mom’s journals and mining the treasure trove of thoughts and prayers Mom recorded. Okay, it’s not all profound. There are a lot of grocery lists, corny jokes, and half-written recipes. I haven’t been ready to dive into it yet but I’m grateful for the gems Megan has discovered. Several weeks ago she happened upon an entry written on October 4, 2001. Sam’s tenth birthday. The pages recorded his party and his presents and what his little ten-year-old self was like. And then she started praying.

“For the man he would be in ten years, on his twentieth birthday.”

She praised God for her son, this gift. She asked that he grow in strength of character and wisdom. She trusted he would be a man of God as he entered his twenties. Sam read it out loud as long as he could. Then Dad gave his best effort. We all cried the good, shared kind of tears. God knew we needed it. And Sam will have those words to treasure the rest of his life.

Then we all ate a lot of chocolate pudding with crushed cookies. Because we have dirt every October 4th.

On Friday, I ran somewhere between 5 and 6 miles with some marathon trainers. Those women are beasts. The really sweet, beautiful, kick my butt at running kind of beasts. But I will keep going back for more because the trail was along the coast and nothing gets your mind off of burning pain like paradise to the right of you.

My precious ex-roommate Karisa and her new and improved roommate Husband Shaun came for a whirlwind Kona trip. We woke up ridiculously early on Saturday to see people begin a ridiculously long race – the 2011 Ironman. Every year this town expands by five or six thousand people for two weeks in October. Two thousand of those people are wearing spandex and riding bikes most of the time. Driving is hazardous and shopping is nuts. But it’s good for the economy so three cheers for triathletes.

Waking up at 5 to see the start was hard enough...actually doing the race? Yikes.

On Sunday, we baptized 40 people after church. Baptisms always get me choked up. It’s such a tangible representation of lives changed and mission fulfilled. I always flash back to being 12 and hearing Mom and Dad talk about the Great Adventure we were embarking on as we moved to Hawaii. When I see people of all ages and ethnicities emerge from the bay to the south of our church, I see the fruit of a hard fought great adventure fulfilling the greatest commission ever given. And I know that God does work all things together for good.

So, there’s been a lot of good this week and I am a grateful girl. Brother entered the twenties, thousands of triathletes will start exiting our little Kona roads, forty people entered a new season of Jesus-following.

And I ran 5 miles.




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