Thrive: Verb: 1. to prosper, be fortunate or successful 2. to grow or develop vigorously; flourish

Today I stuck to the main trail at First Landing State Park – a trail I haven’t run in nearly a year. As I ran the familiar trail, I ran through the memories of running down the Cape Henry Trail. Some of my biggest running dreams were dreamt on that trail. My confidence as a runner bloomed on this trail. It was on this trail that I realized what I’m capable of as a runner. The best I’ve ever felt on a long run happened on that trail resulting in speedy miles.

Somewhere in the middle of today’s miles, I came face to face with how guarded I’ve become with my running. It seems to happen often when I don’t meet my own expectations: I became complacent with my running goals. This summer I took a  break from training and goal driven runs. My heart needed a reset. While my heart is back in running, I’ve been holding onto the protection. I’ve been protecting myself from dreaming too big. Big dreams and big goals are scary, but running complacent isn’t what makes my heart sing.

Today, along a trail that held my running dreams, I decided it’s time to risk losing again because striving for the big goals is when I feel alive. I thrive when I’m pushing my own limits and when I’m reaching for growth.

“The issues of life present us with invitations to grow; which are wild by their very nature. Wildly arresting or wildly liberating. These moments are inevitable and impossible to avoid; but unequivocally for our edification. Yes, it may be difficult. Difficult, yet doable. Decide to thrive. Trust and transform.” ~ LaShaun Middlebrooks Collier

I find myself saying these words a lot lately, but I know that everything in my life has delivered me to this point. This is my year to thrive. It is my year to live with my heart. It is my year.

While I’m training for the Shamrock half marathon, I probably won’t be here for race weekend. Work travel is on the horizon. Life is presenting me so many opportunities to thrive – to prosper, to be fortunate, to be successful, to grow, and to flourish. I owe it to myself and everyone who is with me on this life journey to reach for the things that make me feel alive and to share that love with everyone I meet.

I’m holding on tightly to these dreams. Living any other way isn’t an option anymore.


Whole Hearted.

“I have come to believe that coming true is not the only purpose of a dream. Its most important purpose is to get us in touch with where dreams come from, where passion comes from, where happiness comes from.” — Lisa Bu

Over coffee last week, my running coach and I redefined my relationship with running. We chose a new lense for my view of my training plan. I want to run. I need to run. I love to run. But every time I have put on my running shoes lately, I wonder if my run will be a success. I cross my fingers and hope that it turns out to be a good run. Every time I put on my running shoes lately, I feel a little broken.

For the past two years, I have used running to repair the broken things in my life. After having Chet, I used running as a way to reclaim my identity. After I went back to a job I didn’t love, I used running as a way to fix a long work day. After my father-in-law and my aunt passed away, I used running to heal my broken heart. When marriage hits a rough spot, I use running to heal my frustration. When the boys become too much, I use running to fix my sanity. Running has always fixed my broken spots.

As my life heals itself, running has become the broken piece. It’s time to heal my relationship with running.

The only way to heal what is broken is to highlight and enhance all the aspects that I love.


Last Thursday, my first run back after my stitches were removed, I joined two friends near and dear to my heart for an evening boardwalk run. We ran our favorite route – over the Rudee Inlet bridge straight into the crowd of tourists on the boardwalk. When our feet hit the boardwalk, it felt like the start of summer. We haven’t done this in two years! Three miles into the run, we made a happy hour pit stop for orange crushes and lots of girl talk. The run back to the car was filled with laughter and happiness.

On Sunday, I headed out for my long run. I headed to my favorite running route. I left my garmin at home. I just ran. I ran the Cape Henry Trail into our State Park to some of my favorite back trails. It’s been a while since my running shoes had real trails underneath them. I ran up and down sand dunes. I ran alongside water. I skipped over tree roots. I don’t know how far I ran or how fast, but when my feet finally hit pavement again I felt like I was flying.

As I ran down the trails, trails that have held so many of my tears and so much of my laughter, I felt myself picking up all the pieces I had left scattered over the years. I ran these trails, the day the world said goodbye to my aunt. In the middle of a winter storm advisor, I found my refuge in the tree-lined path. On these trails, I spent an entire summer running with my friend Heidi as we both tried to figure out how to be new moms again. Every time I ran with a broken heart down these trails, I left some of myself behind. Every time I ran filled with hope, I left some of myself behind.

Sunday’s run was a declaration. Sunday’s run put an end to broken running. Sunday’s run reclaimed my favorite place.


There was no stop button to hit when I got back to my car so the run continued. My heart was filled to the brim, and it followed me home.

Last week’s run and all my runs going forward need to be a reflection of my life right now. I’m bring my heart, my whole heart, back to my running. Life is constantly changing. There will be more phases of heart ache, but right now, my whole heart needs a chance to shine. My whole heart needs a chance to run.




My 34th Year

I have sat down several times trying to articulate my goals for my 34th year. Nothing has felt right yet. I don’t want a list. I don’t want an obligation. I want laughter and a light heart. I want the courage to show up to the start line (of all aspects of life) knowing I’m good enough, strong enough, and bad ass enough to make it happen. I don’t want ego, but I do want the confidence to boldly walk my own path without justifying or down playing my intentions. I want to feel myself open to the world. I want to say “this is me” and “I really like me.” Being bold is scary. Being brave is scary.

Maybe I’m taking the task of writing down my wishes for my 34th year a little too serious. Maybe that’s the point of not being able to write them down. Instead of writing it, I need to live it. Maybe I just need to show up, let the world see me, let the world hear my laughter, and know that I’m living my life with my whole heart.

Here’s to a great year of life! Here’s to living!


Sunrise on the day of my birth!


(Fill in the Blank) Heart

For most of my life I’ve walked around wearing armor. I was never short of a smile or a friendly hello, but I protected myself. There were very few people I developed close friendships with. I had myself convinced that I was meant to follow the clear path in front of me. I lacked the courage and the confidence to open myself up to the world. I was always afraid that if I wanted something, if people got too close, I’d end up disappointed.

That clear path didn’t work for me. It never has. Avoiding connections with others left me feeling alone. I was meant to make my own path.

I got divorced. I created a new path. I moved back home. I feel in love when it didn’t make sense. Then I rediscovered my love of running. The armor has slowly disappeared. Loving Christian has always felt safe. The more I run, the more I make my own path, the less I protect myself, the more my heart is opening up. I’m less guarded. I’m learning that if I stand tall, if I let my true heart be seen, it’s okay if the world doesn’t embrace it. It’s me and those who see me and love me are the ones who deserve my love in return. Some friendships don’t work out. That’s okay. Some people just don’t like me. That’s okay. I’m learning that the truer I am to myself, the truer the relationships I will have with people who embrace me.

My heart is changing. It’s opening. It’s less protected. It’s starting to shine. This is changing everything.

I’m running with a (light) heart. This has made ever run satisfying. Whether the run ends up be a great run or just another run, I walk away knowing its part of the puzzle.

I’m welcoming friendship with an (open) heart. In the past, I would have shied away from lunch dates or run dates with new friends. Not anymore. This has brought wonderful new genuine people into my life. I had brunch won’t Hollie from fueledbylolz and walked away knowing I have a new friend. I shared 10 miles with Lesleyanne from Beachyrunner Saturday morning. Even though we are friends we’ve never run together (she is speedy). I would have normally shied away from this, but not today. It was the perfect run before my marathon. So many of the great friends in my life in recent years have appeared when I said yes to an invite that intimidated me. Over the past year, some really wonderful people have entered my life.

I am making a conscience effort to live life with a (whole) heart.


When I embrace each day from this place of self acceptance, there isn’t a need to guard my heart. I don’t need the armor anymore.

There are 5 days between me and my second marathon. I’m showing up to the start line with my heart exposed, and I plan on running every single one of those miles with my whole heart.

I’m amazed by how much strength comes from living a life from my heart.


Gorgeous view from my run on Saturday!