12k + A million pictures + The Gospel.

Tired. Exhausted. Relieved. Excited. Peace.

Traveling for races is a roller coaster. It is tiring emotionally and physically. And, at the same time, it is filling..exciting..rejuvenating. 

This past Sunday, I raced the Dot US National Championships in Alexandria, VA, which is near Washington D.C.

Blessed and humbled to compete with such a spectacular field of women. And, excited to put my speed to the test.

I went into the race confident in Christ: He would supply me with speed and endurance.

I also got to travel with some of my teammates and my coach, Andrew Kastor, and his wife, Deena Kastor (2004 Olympic Marathon Bronze Medalist and American Record holder in the US Half Marathon and Marathon…as well as a really long list of accomplishments.) I felt blessed to have a part of my wonderful support system there. Most importantly, I always get excited to let me life as a Christ follower and runner speak. Running is a platform to share the Gospel, to shine God’s love, and to tell others that my purpose in running is to praise my Savior.

Pre-Travel: Preparing with food….

Grapes, hard boiled egg, cooked sweet potato. 

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Including my chocolate fix….

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Day One: A really long day of traveling. JB drove us to Reno (3 hours away). So, I woke up when Mammoth was still dark; the stars lit my run. Mammoth doesn’t believe in street lights. 

Since our flight got delayed, we hit up Whole Foods first. You all know my love for Whole Foods. 

Butternut squash and dates for the plane ride. 

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After getting in close to midnight, I was really happy to get to sleep.

Saturday included a beautiful shake out run along this river right outside my hotel…

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Press Conference in the a.m. Deena met us there, so I was happy to see her!

And, a technical pre-race meeting.

Yes, I did wear clogs on travel day…and the day after. 

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And, relaxed. Delicious dinner at an Italian restaurant near us. Deena and I both had their fish: Branzino. They even filleted the fish in front of us! 🙂

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Yes, my sweater is crooked. And, I was still tired from travel.

Which is why, early to bed!

And, to my surprise, they had oatmeal early in the morning. Cooked oatmeal. Runner’s dream pre-race. 

After a warm up with my teammate JB, I put the race in God’s hands and I was off…I apologize the picture is so tiny…I can’t get it any bigger.

My sweet mom and boyfriend both got up (at 4:15am) to watch me race online.

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The race went really well. I am praising God for a wonderful opportunity and looking forward to what He has for me in the future. One thing I know: He gave me the gift to run. Running as a job is a really beautiful gift. And, I want to do my best to represent Christ in my training and racing. Now, I’m sweetly enjoying some down time before I put in lots of miles and get ready for the US Half Champs in Houston, then a spring marathon debut!

After an early race, I went to breakfast with the Kastors and some friends. Delicious La Pain Quotidien. French bakery. The absolute best. Shauna Niequist talks about life around the table. This is exactly what this place is about. Communal tables. It makes you feel at home…and like you could stay for hours.

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And, 11 hours of sleep later, I spent Monday exploring downtown Alexandria before a long night of travel.

Also went to TJ’s. So happy. 

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And…then the travel came. Really long. So long that I needed Pinkberry in the airport: original and pumpkin of course.

Flying in at 11pm (felt like 2am east coast time), I drove to a hotel to stay the night. Really sketchy. So, I didn’t really sleep…then got up really early and left, to spend a few hours at Whole Foods before heading home to Mammoth.

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Holiday Flavors. Bliss.
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I was there for probably 2 hours. I basically could stay in Whole Foods all day, but figured I should drive home. 
But, I loaded up with lots of raw nuts and seeds, almond butter, kale, wine, coffee, squash, macrobars….all wonderfulness.
 
Finally, exhausted, I got home to get a letter from my best friend and a sweet package from my friend Cady.
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This Saturday I am heading down to Azusa to visit one of my best friends, Katelyn.
Then….seeing my boyfriend Seth and his family. I have been counting down the days. 
 
Keep sharing God’s grace in what you do. Keep enjoying and resting. And, remember that your life speaks volumes and speaks the Gospel when you live in a way that reflects His love. Do what He made you to do!
 
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