“Be Kind to Yourself”

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”-Galations 6:9

If you’ve truly trained for a marathon, the time and mental investment into the race is large. And, if you don’t make it to the start line, it leaves a cavity where you let it burrow a hole into the deepest part of you. When you invest yourself into something you love, it finds a way to make a home in your heart. Thankfully, God holds my heart in the palm of His hand. And, He repairs it over and over again, reminding me that pain is okay and disappointment is okay, but that He has created me as a whole person–one that is shaped by His grace rather than by the things I love to do, like run. So, I don’t let running define me or races that I do or don’t do define me.

It started with feeling under the weather and battling sickness on and off until I found out I had a bad stomach virus that took it’s toll and took me out of training and being prepared for Twin Cities Marathon. Discouraged and sad, I drove home to rest and recover. As usual, the questions swirl in my mind of “why?”…”training was going great…” …” i did everything i could” etc.  But, I took a deep breathe, and let God’s grace pour over my mind and heart that could easily grow weary from worrying and questioning. And, as I gained back strength, I decided to run for simple enjoyment; it’s healing for my soul to run long and discover new trails.

I was on a run with my sweet friend, Alexi, a month or so ago, and she said, “Be kind to yourself.” That’s pretty much the best advice anyone could ever give another human like me (one that can’t measure up to her own expectations). On my “comeback” to health and putting in good workouts again, I’ve settled my heart on being kind to myself. In church, we’ve been talking about our image being made in God’s image. What an incredible truth. I think about that on good days and hard days: You are created in God’s image. You must be kind to yourself. My goodness, does it help.

And, in not racing, I got to spend time with my Dad on his birthday, a birthday I would have missed if I was gone. There is always a silver lining. Always.

So, today, be kind to yourself. You are created in God’s image. And, you were created for a purpose. Your worth is not settled in what you do or don’t do: God has created you with great worth.

Also, the love of my life raced yesterday for us both and did fantastic: He got his pro card!!!

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A Tasting: Good Sense Coffee.



Good Sense Coffee is a Micro Roasting Company in South Lyon, Michigan. But, the cool thing about them? They work hard at not only making great coffee, but giving back to those that source their beans, but also to those right in their backyard. They roast on a small scale so that they can give back globally and locally. GSC is about serving others. (AND, there coffee is fantastic). Their profits don’t just benefit them, but others too.

Who knew it would take me this long to review an awesome coffee company? Glad its a company that presents a clear vision:

serve coffee. serve people.

This doesn’t mean they skimp on good beans or quality of product. Instead, they work hard to source the best beans: Organic and Fair Trade.

So far, I’ve brewed the Burundi: chocolate, burnt sugar, floral aroma, intense acidity.

And, Java: sweet, clean, raw sugar black tea, fig, raisin.

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Both were equally delicious.

I couldn’t encourage you more to order their beans here. This is a company worth getting behind from a taste standpoint, but more than that, a vision standpoint.

Go check them out!


I’ve written many blog reviews, but never on coffee. Surprising, for me, since I enjoy coffee every morning…and post-run…and sometimes before a second run.

Good Sense Coffee is a Micro Roasting Company in South Lyon, Michigan. But, the unique part about it? They aren’t just

Deeply Loved.

I went home this past weekend for my birthday. Birthdays, for me, can’t be spent without family. THEY are my birthday present. I’m deeply thankful for the memories I make with them each time I visit home. They bring me more joy than words can describe. It was such a sweet and packed weekend. From a long run to my favorite coffee shop with my mom biking, to a trip to Petaluma (near Napa) to eating a dream meal at Central Market and an espresso macaroon at Bouchon’s to running near home and being so thankful.

This was my birthday dream meal: Duck. Farm-to-Fork at Central Market. All sourced from local farms in Petaluma and Napa.


I came back to Mammoth full of love and thankfulness and joy.

My sweet parents wanted to make me feel so special on my birthday and they let me crash their anniversary trip to Napa. It’s the only weekend they could book and originally didn’t know I could make it home for my birthday. But, I did. And, they invited me to come. What seemed like a sweet birthday present is actually one of the most special birthdays I’ve had yet. My parents live selflessly. It’s one of the reasons they have a wonderful marriage.

My parents will celebrate their true anniversary on July 25. 28th Anniversary…right mom and dad?

So, as I wrote their Anniversary card, I tried to put into words how their marriage has deeply impacted me..and how I couldn’t ever ask for better parents. They, I came across this quote,

“The heart of hospitality is about creating space for someone to feel seen and heard and loved. It’s about declaring your table a safe zone, a place of warmth and nourishment.”-S. Niequist


And, as I wrote their card, I became emotional which doesn’t typically happen when I write, but it was emotions of a deep sense of gratitude. The older I grow, the more I realize how blessed I am. Mom and Dad, I know we are still a week away, but thank you for loving me, for always welcoming me home, for nourishing my spirit and soul…HAPPY ANNIVERSARY. God gave me the best parents for ME. And, I couldn’t be more thankful to spend my 25th with you. I love you both so much!


So, do not worry.

Often times, after a race, my mind is scattered, trying to collect memories, rejoice freely, learn mistakes.

And, it’s usually not for a week or a few weeks that I start to think about all that just happened, a blur of competing and all that comes with it.

Sometimes I feel relief. Sometimes I feel joyful, like I’m on a high from racing and putting my hard work into a race. And, many times, I feel disappointed, too.

As I was reading “Savor” by Shauna Niequist this morning she wrote in simple and meaningful words, her journey to completing a marathon. And, she asked at the end,

Have you ever run a marathon, or fulfilled some other physical goal that pushed you beyond what you had thought you could do? What did you learn from the process?

And, my pen met the paper as I wrote out simple thoughts, but ones that hold the weight of me.

God really lit a fire in my spirit. But, it has come with many ups and downs since then.

Racing a marathon lit a fire in me that can’t be burned out. But, the marathon is something I hold close to my heart. And, when races don’t go as I hoped or my training points to break throughs, but none happen, I feel a little bruised and disappointed.

Often times after races, I look forward to blogging, but hold off, until I can rap my head around things. It would never be my heart for my thoughts on my race to sound negative or disheartened, so in my disappointment post-races, I often think about how I can convey my thoughts in a graceful way. The ups and downs of racing and training aren’t negative. They are like growing pains. The process can be painful but the results, someday, will show all the hard work and all the grinding of marathon training, of focus, of dedication. God calls us to different seasons, and sometimes I feel like it should be different or it should make more sense. In my own hopes, hard work should pay off sooner. I hope for things that I don’t speak, trying to trust in God’s process, and not my own. But, the disappointments still come and the bumps in the road some days seem like mountains.

What I hold true on all days is God’s vision and purpose. It’s not one I can always see clearly or understand, but it’s what drives me forward on the disappointing days and on the successful days, too. God creates us with unique desires and purposes and I believe, He has a vision for each of us.

The planner in me strategizes endlessly, critiques continuously, and worries often. While I trust in God’s vision and plan, many days my prayers are: “Lord I believe, but help my unbelief.” I am dedicated in training, courageous when I race, and bold in my beliefs, both in my faith and in God’s plans for my running career. But, often times, I need to read:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Matthew 5:25-34

So, do not worry. 

Do not worry about a less than ideal race.

Do not worry about the college you will choose.

Do not worry about approval of people.

Do not worry about other’s criticisms.

Do not worry about your future career.

Do not worry about finances or retirement.

So, do not worry.

We have a Savior to save us from worries. Whether it’s worries wrapped up in your career, or about your kids, or (for other professional runner’s reading this) less than ideal races.

Do not worry and trust. Trust God’s plan. Trust His Vision. (Words I repeatedly pray and have a hard time living out.)

My favorite poem “The Summer Day” by Mary Oliver plays in my mind often,

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

What will you do with the life God has given you?

I’m going to do my best to race with joy, embrace the challenges, and worship my Savior. God gave me (and you) a precious life to not spend worrying and critiquing. Instead, see His vision and His plan for you which is nothing less than precious and wild.


The BEST Muesli.

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Whenever I cook or bake, I cook with love and lots of good ingredients. I’m a firm believer, for one, that I need to fuel my body well. With logging lots of miles (especially at altitude), I’ve really worked hard to focus on fueling efficiently. From my breakfast, to post-run UCAN shake, to red meat and lots of veggies, I’ve grown a lot in my view of food and how to use it for fuel (but also ENJOY it).

My boyfriend, Seth, is a food-lover like me. We love cooking together. Usually it’s vegan/raw dishes with red meat once in awhile. We love good breakfasts, huge salads for lunch…and yes, huge salads for dinner too. Mainly we just pile lots of nutrients on greens (whether it’s meat, quinoa..etc).

He’s a big fan of muesli and I was inspired this morning to create my own recipe of muesli. He says the key is some fresh OJ with whatever milk you use when you soak it overnight. (I use almond milk or homemade cashew or walnut milk) Adds a little sweetness. I think I’ll try it tonight!

Like any recipe I write or create, I use ingredients I enjoy and love. Muesli is pretty easy to make. There’s no right or wrong answer to ratios, etc.

If you don’t like the below ingredients, you can sub them out for other ingredients. But, below are a few reasons I chose what I did:

Oats: One of the best breakfast foods. It’s easy to digest, great for simple carbs, and it’s a whole grain.

Mulberries: Raw, GF, Organic..etc. These are superfood! They are rich in iron and vitamin C. Mulberries have resveratrol, which is an antioxidant (it’s also found in red wine) Basically, it helps you have a healthy heart!

Golden Berries: Another superfood. These are rich in vitamin A and are also rich in fiber.

Sweet Cacao Nibs: Superfood, again. These are rich in antioxidants, magnesium, iron, fiber, as well as other vitamins. These are so so much better than eating chocolate or chocolate chips. These fuel you and taste delicious for dark chocolate lovers like me.

Chia Seeds: Rich in fatty acids and another tool for fuel, these are great to add to smoothies or cereals like this.

Raisins: While raisins are kind of sugary and sweet, they are a quick energy source!

Walnuts: Lots of good omega-3s in walnuts. And, they add such a good crunch to cereals. I love nuts and walnuts are one of my favorite kinds.

Sunflower Seeds: They are packed with vitamin E and are great for your heart. Plus, they are an anti-inflammatory!

Cinnamon: It’s an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammartory, as well as a lot of other benefits. Cinnamon might seem like an ordinary spice, but it’s packed with nutrition.

Superfood Muesli

4 Cups Whole Oats

1.5 ounces (one bag) of Dang Coconut Chips (or regular coconut)

1/4 Cup Sweet Cacao Nibs

1/2 Cup Golden Berries

1/2 Mulberries

1/2 Walnuts

1/3 Sunflower Seeds (I used TJ’s Maple Rosemary Sunflower Seeds)

1/3 Raisins

2 Tsp. Chia Seeds

2 Tsp. Cinnamon

Oh Kale YEAH: Best Bread Ever.

I’ve been meaning to write this awesome bread review on Bread SRSLY since my marathon.

Bread SRSLY is a Gluten Free Sourdough company located in San Francisco, CA, which is basically sourdough bread heaven. If you want good sourdough, go to SF.

What initially drew me to this company was this…


What could get any better than kale in bread? KALE in sourdough bread. AND, Gluten-Free.

Mind Blown.

And, when  I received it, it was fresh like it came straight from the oven. The rolls are my favorite so far, but I have yet to try the classic sourdough that they sent me.

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Topped with Kerrygold, avocado, and a little sea salt, you’ve got the perfect meal.

If you’re not sold by my pictures of Bread SRSLY bread, check out some of theirs:

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And, start drooling…

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Typically, I give lots of background on the company, but I’d say that Sadie, Bread SRSLY’s founder, has done a pretty fantastic job herself and the start to her company is worth the read. Click here for the full story!

Here are all the places you can buy Bread SRSLY. But, if you’re not lucky to live by a location to pick up this delicious bread, like me, you can also order it online! And, just like I found out from my order: it comes 100% fresh with the packaging date etc. I was really impressed!

I wouldn’t classify myself as a bread lover (all of you that know me well know that I love a good kale salad and iced coffee) Until…I tried this bread and realized that it is the best bread I’ve ever had.  The ingredients are simple for a GF bread, which I am always looking for. Simplicity is best. I’ve now found Gluten-Free bread that I’ll always enjoy! And, my boyfriend and family love it too!

Basically, this has been one of my very favorite companies to review. From my love of the product, to their promptness in keeping in touch, Bread SRSLY has my loyalty. Thanks for making delicious GF Bread!

I Danced and Celebrated.

I was told that I was too timid of a soccer player.

I could play entire games, beat people to the ball, and excel at endurance.

But, I was terrible at headers, would shy away from being aggressive, and feared attacking the ball.

Distance running and marathon training isn’t for the timid. And, instead of believing that the heat could defeat me, or that I might not being able to finish, or even that it could be extremely mentally hard…I’m not timid. Nor, am I afraid. I still don’t believe I would be the best soccer player, but when I run, I’m fearless. I’ve learned that when I tune into the Holy Spirit and let His power lead, I can do things that even I am unsure that I can do.

While my fitness was at another level than I’ve ever been at before, and I was in shape for a great PR, conditions don’t always lend to PRs. Early warm and humid weather greeted us as the sun rose. When the gun went off, I hung with the lead pack and felt sweat drip down my neck a few miles in.

I was dressed in pink. Pretty in pink.

And, ready for battle. Really, a mental battle. I knew today could be painfully hard and if it was, I would finish with grit and and joy.

Many of my competitors were close friends. And, my family, Seth, and His family braved the crowds to cheer or watch at the finish. As the race pressed and I took my bottles and many water cups, dumping them on myself, I noticed some competitors disappear. Some had less than ideal days, and I realized this was no longer just a race…it was a mental battle to get to the end in less than ideal conditions. Looking down at my watch every so often, I knew a PR would be far from what I would get, and that finishing would be success.

So, I danced and celebrated through that race. The later miles in the race were the most painful miles I’ve run. I almost wanted to laugh…or cry. So, this is what real marathon pain feels like? My last two marathons were almost like sitting and eating homemade coffee ice cream. My goodness. Forget it. This was actual pain. But, I told myself I could do it. I told myself God has given me the tools I need: He is my strength.

When I finished in a slower time than I would ever hope for a marathon,  I smiled, greeted by people I love, teammates, family, friends. I was filled with joy and peace and a “THANK GOODNESS THAT IS DONE.”

The marathon humbles you, a lot. But, I’m just dancing and celebrating and laughing. A PR will come in the future. Post-race, I’ve been having the time of my life with the love of my life and my family. A late blog post has come due to: sorry. having. too. much. fun. For now, I’m spending time with those that fill me up, savoring slow mornings in the Word, running slow, drinking iced coffee, eating donuts, and kale (duh), and LOVING that God has given me such a beautiful gift to celebrate in.

This marathon was special. And, worth celebrating. And, a finish as 7th American is a “ohkaleyah” in my book because 7 is my favorite number.IMG_1716 IMG_1263 IMG_1244

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