Apparently I've broken through the mental barrier that running has been up until now. 

You remember that I used to 


Well this past Wednesday I emailed my running bud, 
Becky, gearing up for our long run yesterday morning. 
And I actually wrote this: 
"Only 8 miles this week!" 

Are you kidding me? 
What are we, on drugs?

Those two words shouldn't go together. 
Not in miles anyway. 
Maybe in candy: "I only ate EIGHT M&M's." 
Maybe in minutes: "I was only eight minutes late." 
Maybe in dollars: "That tank top was only eight bucks." 

But miles. 
Only eight miles today doesn't jive with this sista. 

Next time you get in your car, 
set your mile thingy to zero, 
and then keep watching it until you reach 8, 
and then realize how far you've just driven. 
It's a crazy long way. 

And yet, it's not as long as 11 so I guess in that sense, it's short? 
Seems crazy but I'm telling you, 
when you've tackled 11 the week prior 
and you look at your training schedule and see "8", 
it sort of feels rather dreamy. 
Like you're being a total slacker for only running 8. 

{And I can hardly say the number 8 without wanting to also shout out 
You'll need to YouTube Brian Reagan 
and his ER bit in order to fully appreciate it. 
Well worth your time to do so.
It's your homework immediately after finishing this post.
You can thank me later.} 

The last two weeks have been huge breakthroughs for me. 

Last week's 11 mile went under the radar. 
On purpose. 
For whatever reason, 
eleven didn't have a fearful hold on me like my 
10, 9, 8, 7 , 6 and 5 mile runs the weeks before. 
I felt the freedom to walk if I needed to. 
While it was still toasty roasty hot outside, 
I went into the run knowing that if I had to walk it'd be okay. 
It really, really would. 

I private Facebooked 30 plus of my praying friends/family 
on Wednesday night, 
{so I guess it didn't really go under the radar in the fullest sense of the
word, but it didn't go viral either!}
asking them to pray me through Thursday morning's run 
(I had to swip-swap my usual Friday run because we were 
heading out of town on Friday morning). 
While the fear isn't overtaking me like it has earlier this summer, 
I still have to know I'm being prayed for. 
I so believe in the power of prayer. 

Get this. 
My mom shared with me that she had hit her 
snooze for an hour that morning, 
and every time it rang she'd pray for me. 
For the first sixty minutes of my run! 
I now know where I get my need for the snooze button. 
I love that woman!

And my dad. 
I love my dad. 
He's a prayer warrior, too. 
And an early riser by nature. 
So that translates to a win-win for me.
So each run I take I just know that they're both praying. 
And not only that, 
they believe
I can do it. 
Nothing quite like a parent's love. 
I'm so grateful that
I have parents that still pour into my life, 
even though I flew the coop 
decades ago. 
Once a parent, always a parent is what they say.
 So 11 came and went last week, nary a walking step taken.
Montrose Avenue down to Navy Pier AND BACK. 
I get tired just thinking of how far that is. 
But I'm so, SO proud of myself for doing it. 
One step after the other. 

And eleven seems pretty close to thirteen point one. 
I mean, it's still two miles shy,
BUT from what I gather, 
if I can mentally push through eleven, 
if all the stars align, 
I'll be able to push through thirteen. 
Point ONE. 

And by stars aligning I simply mean, 
barring some crazy ridiculous heat wave late October, 
or snowflakes dancing on my head, 
or an injury-laden body, 
I should be able to run the whole thing. 
{And if I have to walk a bit I will not be mad at myself. 
I must keep telling myself this in preparation. 
Pardon my self-talk.}

October 20th. 
Chicago Monster Dash
9am start time in Grant Park. 
Downtown  CHICAGO.

If you're so inclined and you live anywhere near Chicago, 
come down and cheer me on. 
No pressure, but it would be so fun to see your face along the trail.  

And if you can't do that, 
please, please PLEASE pray wherever you are. 
(My mom, Aunt Shirley, Uncle Bob and Aunt Gail will be on a plane to India that day 
so I'll expect them all to be praying the whole darn time.)

So apparently most people dress up for this race 
because it's a Halloween race.
My costume you ask? 

I'm dressing as a runner. 
I just wanna go as myself.
{chuckle chuckle}
I'll be the one in black capris with a cute little attached skirt that 
somehow makes me feel cuter and thinner.
Isn't it crazy how clothes have a way of doing that?
 And a black tank top because lighter coloured clothes
really show the sweat and that grosses me out
 {and, because black makes you look thinner, ya know.} 

And I'll have on a really cute hot pink visor so that my 
cheering squad can pick me out amongst the crowd.

Nike's paying me BIG bucks as their new running model. 
I mean, I just look like a runner, don't I?
{I hope you detect the dripping sarcasm} 
They're targeting a whole new audience using me as their spokes gal.
It's the 
'you NEVER thought you could do it crowd' 
and look at you now.

Over 40 --- JUST DO IT!!!
{What's a blog post without a photo, right?} 

And I'll have "PREMILA" in black ink on my arms and calves 
because October 20th is my day to run for her. 

Isn't she gorgeous? 
Doesn't she deserve a bright future filled 
with Hope
and Joy 
and Love.

And speaking of Premila, 
I need to kick the fundraising piece of this puzzle into gear ... 
$360 raised so far but a LONG way from my goal. 

If you'd like to donate every bit helps this sweet little 14-year-old in India, 
who has been rescued out of slavery and is part of a beautiful family in India.

My heart's desire is to raise a God-sized chunk of money 
that can help her with her education and health and all those other things that we, 
here in America/Canada, 
take for granted. 
I'd love that!

I did a little math 
{dangerous, I know}
and if every Facebook friend/acquaintance of mine gives ten bucks,
we'll raise OVER eight grand.

Let's DO THIS. 
For Premila.

Some day I'd love to meet that sweet girl,
the girl that I pray for every single run. 

As I'm running each morning, 
she's drifting off to sleep on the other side of the world. 
Every time I run I pray that the tragedies that have been a part of her former life 
would not turn into recurring nightmares. 
I pray that she would sleep sweetly that night, as every 14-year-old should. 
I pray that she feels loved, as every little girl longs to feel.
I pray that she would somehow know that there's a 40 something gal in Chicago,
running her heart out, 
learning life lessons, 
relying on God when she feels
so weak and weary,
wanting to experience God on the trail.

I pray that God would show up for Premila TODAY
and tomorrow and every day hereafter, and that HE would
RADICALLY change the trajectory of her life. 
That HE would redeem the hurts of her past. 
That HE would lavish His love on her.

He can do that for her.

 And since I'm not sure how to smoothly transition from 
that weighty paragraph to this shallow one,
I"ll just say this:
In other running news, 
I'm still having a hard time finding the right food to eat while I run. 
I didn't know it either at first, 
but I guess your body does need some fuel part-way through those long runs. 
And, it's hard enough for me to figure out the breathing thing while running, 
let alone toss in the 'oh, and eat some food and chew it and swallow it while you run, too.' 

Let's see. 
I'm still crazy about my new shoes from Road Runner. 
And I guess they're not new any more because I've logged close to 200 miles 
on them since I bought them. 

Do you remember that on April 15th, 
just FIVE months ago, 
I started this running gig and couldn't run one block without dying?
One MINUTE was all I could do and then I had to stop and walk four minutes 
before I geared back up to run another minute 
before I had to walk another four ... 
repeat eight times. 

I sit back and marvel at what the body can do with training. 
With focus. 
With determination. 
With encouragement. 
And for me, 
with Jesus running right beside me every single step. 



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