Why Do I Run?

Many people ask, “Why do you run?” or “Why do you run so far?”  This is a question I have difficulty answering and/or defending in mere words.  When I hit mile 19 of my 20 miler Saturday “free fallin'” by Tom Petty came on Pandora and as I was singing the chorus out loud, (yes, I said out loud) I wanted everyone to know that experience.  I knew that I was going to finish that 20 miler and it was a good feeling. 

I run for me.

I run because it helps me let go. 

I run to forget the day.  I, like many people, have a stressful job.  It is one that I often take home with me…maybe not physically, but mentally, I can’t leave and just forget about the situations of those kiddos and the great responsibility I have been handed in leading them.
I run for a sense of accomplishment.  Yep, I said it.  I make myself proud.

I run to reflect.  I reflect on my life.  On choices I’ve made.  On unanswered prayers.  I take time to thank God for not granting me those things that I once wanted so badly and instead giving me more than I could have ever created on my own.

I run because at the end of a long or hard workout I feel strong.  In life, running makes me feel stronger than I ever imagined I could be. 

I run to see just how far and how fast I can go.  Every time I go farther and faster than I ever have, I surprise myself.  I feel blessed.  Blessed to have such an able body.  Blessed to be able to run.  I am certainly not the fastest of runners, but I am thankful for what I have been given…because it is enough.

I run because it teaches me to just keep going, especially when it hurts. 

I run because there is nothing more soul-cleansing than a summer run in the rain.
My favorite kind of run.

I hope that this compilation can put into words the feeling of my run. 
Tell me, why do you run?

Please enjoy Tom Petty, my friends, and run happy!


Handana: my first ever product review and giveaway!!

Woohoo!! Just Keep Going is growing!  Not only have I aquired over 100 more followers on facebook but I have been privileged enough to do my first product review and giveaway. 

I first saw the Handana on an awesome female runner’s instagram.  I thought it was the coolest thing I have ever seen.  She said it makes her feel “like a warrior” whenever she wears it.  What runner doesn’t want to feel like a warrior when she runs?  I know I do! 

I wore my Handana today on my speed work session on the treadmill.  I almost always do my intervals on the mill.  It makes me move faster than I would on my own.  I also sweat A LOT on the treadmill.  I don’t know if it’s the actual treadmill that does it or the fact that I’m inside in a gym. 

Before – Don’t I look strong?

I ran 1.5 mile warm-up, 6x800s, 400 recovery between each, and 1.25 mile cool-down for a total of 7 miles.  I like that it isn’t a one-size-fits-all because it doesn’t.  I got an XS which is a good fit for me.  I am 5 feet tall, around 105, if that gives you any idea of how to choose your size. 

I actually forgot I was wearing the Handana at one point until I had to wipe the sweat off of my face, then I remembered it!  The fabric is so soft.  Nothing like the towels you can get to use at the gym that can pretty much chap your face.  Salty sweat and rough fabric do not go well together.  Not only is it soft, it just keeps on soaking up the sweat.  Time after time, the sweat would come dripping down.  Time after time the Handana would wipe it all away, nice and soft-like.  I am a believer…this is the running accessory you never knew was possible… until now.  I will keep one with me on my runs and hope to try it on rides when it warms up enough for cycling.  Not that I need to mention it, but the Handana is super cute and you will feel strong.  Strength and cuteness: what a concept!

Also, Katie has a really cool story. Go check it out at MyHandana.com/about/.


Now, for the giveaway!  You have 5 ways to enter!  Click on the buttons below to get an entry for each! Post a comment if you enter!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Verse for Every Mile

As I prepare to run my 2nd marathon,  I try to use sayings, mantras, songs, and verses to help get me through these long runs and speed workouts.  Last week I came up with a list of my favorite running songs right now.  Here are verses that give me strength.  I hope that they can give you the inspiration they give me. 

  1. Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. *Hebrews 12:1
  2. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. *Philippians 4:6
  3. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. *Romans 8:18
  4. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. *Joshua 1:9
  5. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.*Romans 12:12
  6. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own. *Matthew 6:34
  7. How valuable you are!  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?*Luke 12:24-25
  8. For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.*Isaiah 41:13
  9. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and the one who knocks, the door will be opened. *Luke 11:10
  10. Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. *Colossians 3:12-14
  11. Be still and know that I am God. *Psalm 46:10 (Please, don’t take this one literally.)
  12. I am leaving you with a gift-peace of mind and heart.  And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give.  So don’t be troubled or afraid. *John 14:27
  13. Be strong and courageous!  Do not be afraid.  For the Lord your God has gone ahead of you.  He will neither fail you nor abandon you.*Deuteronomy 31:6
  14. “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord.  “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  You will call on me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. *Jeremiah 29:11-13
  15. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.  He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. *Psalms 18:2
  16. Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.  Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you.  I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. *Isaiah 41:10
  17. Let us not grow weary in doing good.  For at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. *Galatians 6:9
  18. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.  Be strong and courageous. *Joshua 10:25
  19. Take heart! I have overcome the world.*John 16:33
  20. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.  They will soar high on the wings like eagles.  They will run and not grow weary.  They will walk and not faint. *Isaiah 40:31
  21. “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked.  “Anything is possible if a person believes.” *Mark 9:23
  22. We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character; and character, hope. *Romans 5:3-4
  23. Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. *Ephesians 6:10
  24. Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.  Seek his will in all you do, and he will set your paths straight. *Proverbs 3:5-6
  25. I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength. *Philippians 4:13
  26. When you pass though the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.  For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.  *Isaiah 43:2-3

And for that .2 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have kept the faith. *2Timothy 4:7

Do you have a verse or saying that gets you through it?  Post it below!

17 miles for me…17 songs for you.

For you, 17 of my favorite running songs of the moment…they change frequently 🙂

1. Eye of the Tiger – Survivor (no running song list is complete without this classic)
2. Thrift Shop – Macklemore and Ryan Lewis (My Jam!)
3. Madness – Muse
4. Scream & Shout – will.i.am (feat. Britney)
5. I Knew You Were Trouble – Taylor Swift
6. Ho Hey – Lumineers (Slower but I still love it!)
7. Daylight – Maroon 5
8. Fastest Girl in Town – Miranda Lambert (Miranda is B.A.)
9. Domino – Jessie J (Major feel good song for me – “like glitter’s rainin’ on me!”)
10.Girl on Fire – Alicia Keys
11.Catch My Breath – Kelly Clarkson
12.Some Nights – Fun.
13.Hall of Fame – The Script
14.Better Dig Two – The Band Perry (I love my country 🙂
15.C’Mon Let Me Ride – Sylar Grey (feat. Eminem) (For the love of cycling!)
16.Gold – Britt Nicole (Never forget, you’re worth more than gold!)
17.Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey (Yes, I went there)
(Obviously, I a 29 year-old pop princess.  Don’t judge.)

Please, comment below with songs that get you pumped!  I want to know!

For me, I ran 17 miles today.  A mere 8 weeks until we tackle Big Sur.  My dream marathon.

First of all, let me reiterate I am a fair-weather runner.  Well I thought so anyway.  It was 30 some degrees when we started out with a “feels like” temp of 24.  Boo!  Can you guess that I just did not want to go?  But I did.  My wonderful friend talked me into it.  She make it seem like not going is not an option.  Which she’s right, it shouldn’t be!

Kingsport Greenbelt pic from a sunny day!

We started out on the greenbelt, which is wonderfully flat for the hills and mountains of East Tennessee.  It was spitting snow.  Snowflakes keep hitting my eyeballs. Ahh!  But, ya know what?  It wasn’t that bad.  Would it be out of line to say that I even enjoyed running 17 miles that I dreaded didn’t want to run?  Well, I did.  I was so glad that I actually was out there in that weather.  I guess, you could say I was proud(?) of myself.  And, that’s just part of being of runner.  You see what you are capable of and you are proud.  Ever hear this quote?

If we did all of the things that we were capable of, we would literally astound ourselves. ~ Thomas A. Edison

It’s true.  People tell me that I amaze them by my running.  I tell them, “Don’t be amazed.  You can do it too!”  Then, they can be amazed when they do it.  That thought puts a smile on my face.  I fully believe that we can do anything we put our minds to.  Running is such a mental sport.  Sound mind.  Sound body.

I won’t carry on about my run because that would be boring for you.  I will say that we also ran on the Crazy 8’s course, Kingsport’s claim to running fame.  The Crazy 8‘s is the “World’s Fastest” 8k.  Seriously, like, Pros(!) fly in just to run it.  It’s kind of cool to me that it happens here in our little corner of the world.  It’s fun that I can run that course whenever I feel like it.  Shamefully, I have never ran the actual race, though.  Maybe I’ll do that this year!

Don’t forget…YOU are worth more than gold!!