Monday, October 29, 2012

Words of Wisdom, Words of Encouragement

It truly amazes me how incredible my parents are. They always know the right thing to say. They are always supportive. They don’t think I’m crazy, even when I vent to them on speaker phone for an hour straight about all of the things rolling around in my head. I’m so blessed.

This is my daddy and I two summers ago. Love this picture. 

The weekend was rough. My race did not go like I planned- again.

Physically, I’m there.
Mentally, I’m not.

And I have to figure out how to shake this. My coach is so sweet and he really believes in me. He believes I can win NWAACCS. Still. After everything.

And you know what? I believe it too. I’m not ready to give up yet.
I do everything right. I eat right. I get enough sleep. I roll out and ice and lift. I ran miles and miles over the summer. There’s no doubt in my mind that I want it. I just have to show it.

But back to this weekend… Our girl’s team did win the Regional title, which is FANTASTIC considering it was our first year even in the region! 
And I’m thrilled about that. 
But personally, I did not do that well.

And it’s so hard for me not to let my identity get wrapped up in this sport.
But my identity is not in running. It's in Jesus. Period. 

I have been thinking a lot the last couple of days. Too much, really. About running and life and what I am doing at this school and what my purpose is. I started thinking about how I’m not seeing any fruit in my life. I work so hard. I try so hard. I strive…. But nothing seems to come of it.

And then I start thinking about how I’m a failure (bad news, guys). I entertained the idea, momentarily, like I’m a failure at everything. I don’t feel like I’m being a good Christian even.
And that’s just silly. Because even the Bible says there is no condemnation for those in Christ.
So I was really grateful for my parent’s loving words and encouragement tonight. They told me everything was going to be okay. They told me that they are proud. 
And they said something really wise.  

They said “Really, Susanna, it’s not about you. It’s not about what you do or what fruit you produce or how well you do things. It’s about God. It’s about you loving God and letting Him love you and work through you. And he takes care of the rest”.

That hit the nail on the head.

Anyway, I prayed and got rid of the ungrateful attitude that has been plaguing me the last couple of days. Life is good. I’m so blessed. I have the ability to run. To push myself. I have been blessed with talent and motivation and opportunity. I have a family who loves me. I have the ability to go to school. And God lavishes love on me every day.

SO I’m just going to abide in that love.
And I’m going to keep working hard. Two weeks until NWAACCS. The season is not over.

I apologize for how all over the place this post is. That’s sort of how my thoughts have been lately :)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

How to "Kick"

As I'm writing this I am eating the most massive sweet potato in the world topped with globs of peanut butter. If you haven't tried it, DO! If you don't like it, that's okay because that means there is more sweet potato and peanut butter in the world for me!! 

Tomorrow morning we head bright and early to Eugene for our regionals meet, and I must admit that I am slightly nervous. I have been excited all week. Then, one day, I realized that regionals is pre-championships (I'm a genius, you guys) and that if I have any plan of winning NWAACCS I should probably do my best to win pre-NWAACCS. 

I'm not saying that I am the best runner in the world in any way, but I seriously believe I can do this. I'm just going to have to not get out-kicked. 

The problem is that I can run for miles and miles and outlast most people, but if I get on the track at the end of a 5k cross country race with 300 meters to go and there is someone next to me, my turnover is not likely going to match theirs....

Know your weaknesses. Figure out a way to overcome them. So I'm learning to be a better "kicker". To drive my knees. To turnover. But my coach told me today that I'm just going to have to kick early. 

Here's my plan. I'm going to get ahead... way ahead... before we even get onto the track at regionals. That's it. I hope it works. 

And I'm going to race with confidence. And love to run. And love to win. That's my plan. 

Also, the new racing spikes I got... in love with them!! But I think I'm going to save them for NWAACCS because A) it will be really muddy and B) I think they are potentially magic shoes and I need to save their magic for that event. 

Aren't they pretty????

Okay, well... I'll let you know how it goes I suppose! Prayer, good wishes, all that will be greatly appreciated :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Busy Thoughts

I know I have been absolutely missing in action lately, and for that I'm sorry. 

But what can I say? I have been busy with school. With running. With thinking. And with a little playing as well :) 

This weekend we had our first off week in a long time, and I got to spend some time cooking with my mom and shopping with my little sister! 

Then this week I have just been doing my best to stay on top of everything, get enough sleep, not freeze to death during practice, and get ready for Regionals this weekend. 

Regionals.... A.K.A. pre-championships. I'm so ready. And so nervous. I cannot stop thinking about running. 

Another thing I can't stop thinking about.... where I'm going to go to school next year. Strike that- what I'm going to do next year. 

It makes sense for me to go to school, yes. But I want to remember that I have many other options. Like  working for a year (blah) or doing an internship, or doing another year long mission, or going to Bible school or something. 

But, reality is, I'm probably going to school. I want to, anyway. And I think I want to run. I don't know how I could not... it would be so strange to stop. 

So I have been talking to coaches. And checking out programs. And thinking about finances. And checking the weather in all sorts of cities in the United States. 

I have been thinking about how far I want to be from home. And about what degree I want to go after. And I have been praying a lot. 

And I know I don't have to figure all this out, but my mind just will not shut up. 

Ultimately I know that it's my decision, but ultimately I also know that God orders my steps. And I know I can go wherever I want, but I want to go where HE wants. Because that has always worked out the best for me in the past. 

So here I am, thinking about racing non-stop and thinking about my future non-stop. 

But it's not a bad thing. I have had loads of fun in the meantime. I just thought you all should know where I'm at right now. 

That's all for tonight! Time to sleep. I realized I really thrive on ten hours. And it is no easy feat to shoot for that much sleep every night, no sir. 

Goodnight! And thanks for "listening".  :) 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fun Facts Friday!

Since I'm sure you are all dying to find out random little facts about my life.... :) 

I thought I'd do a little fun facts post. Also I'm fully procrastinating homework. 

1.    I am seriously addicted to candy corn. I haven't had much this year, but when I get my hands on it I can't stop downing the stuff. Especially those mellow-creme pumpkins... yum. Candy corn > pumpkin spice lattes. Definitely. 

2.    I geek out about sociology, psychology, anthropology, religion... all those social sciences. I could have conversations for days about them. 

3.    I can hold an eight minute plank. Or I have before. I haven't tried to go that long for awhile. But I want to go a full ten minutes soon. 

4.    My favorite movie might just be The Holiday. I have a lot of favorites, and I don't just watch chick flicks, for sure, but I never get sick of this one. 
It always makes me happy when I'm sad!!!

5.    My pregnancy cravings (if I ever decide I want kids) will most likely be peanut butter, cookie dough, ice cream, and pickles. Yes, pickles. 

6.    My favorite color is Tiffany blue!

7.    I don't really like cake, but I'll lick the frosting off of yours!

8.    I'm a pastor's kid through and through. Growing up, I was familiar with terminology like "visiting ministry". Sometimes I still let terms like that slip out and my non-Christian friends have no idea what I'm saying. It's a kick. 

9.    I want to go to Egypt, South America, China, and India one day. Heck, I want to go everywhere. Donations for my escapade would be very much appreciated!!!

10.  For my entire junior year of high school I seriously wanted to be an astronaut. 
Then I took A.P. Physics and changed my mind. 

11.  I do not have a smart phone, 
and I probably won't get one until they don't sell anything else. 
I like them, but I'm a broke college student. 
And my $30 phone looks like a blackberry, 
so people will never know how out-of-date I am!!!

That's all for now, folks!
I'm off to do some homework. 

What are some random facts about you?
Where do you want to travel to?
Are you obsessed with candy corn too? 

Monday, October 15, 2012


This is going to be a quick post, but I thought the world should know how much I really do like Mondays. They usually get a bad rap, so I'm here to write for their defense. 

This term, Mondays really are my easiest day of the week. 

I got 11 and 1/2 GLORIOUS hours of sleep last night. I haven't slept that much since I was like, 11. 

I made pancakes for breakfast. And pumpkin pancakes at that. Pancakes always mean it's going to be a good day. 

My only class for the day was guitar. A little Jack Johnson strumming and some bar chords work. Enough said. 

I did have to work in the government office for quite awhile. 

And I did have a pretty tough practice. But I actually loved our workout today. 60 minute tempo. I probably hovered at around 7 minute pace. Followed by lifting (arms).

I had boundless energy today, probably because of all of the sleep!

I feel like I could bust out a ten minute plank or something :)

I went straight to Campus Christian Fellowship after that (a.k.a. Bible club), and now I have some friends coming over to watch Gossip Girl with me!!!

Monday's aren't all that bad....!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Portland Rambles and XC Travels

Happy Sunday :)

It's been quite the weekend! 

Early Friday morning, my team made its way to Portland for the Adidas classic. 
Long charter bus rides are pretty much a weekly occurrence!!!

Portland was, well... rainy. 
But I came to race. And I wasn't going to let rain - or anything else - stop me. 

And after what has seemed to be a hopelessly terrible season, I finally broke out of my slump!

 I ran this course last year, too, and it is incredibly beautiful and fast. I knew I had the opportunity to have a good race, but I also knew I had to get rid of all the negativity I had been carrying around. So I prayed. A lot. And I really felt a weight lifted off of me. And, following my mom's advice, I took a "vacation" from complaining for a couple days (still doing so). 
And honestly, it made all the difference. 

My dad gave me some fantastic pre-race advice too. He was on his way back from a work retreat on the Oregon coast, and he stopped by Portland to cheer me on! It was so fun to have him there. 

Before my race, he told me: "The people up in front love to race and love to win. Really, Susanna, that's all you have to do. Love to run and love to win." So simple, but so true!!!!

I also clung to a piece of advice that I read in Ryan Hall's book 
Running With Joy.
  "You have to race as if it were impossible to fail."

With perfect, cool fall weather and a level of joy I can't even express, I walked up to the starting line. The gun went off. And I held on to my confidence, sticking right away into the lead pack. I felt so much more intense that I have this whole year. I was actually racing.

I ended up finishing 13th, just outside of the top ten. 
My time was almost 20 seconds slower than last year, but tons faster than my times have been this year.

Truth be told, I have way more in me than I gave. 
It's all so mental, and you have to really convince yourself to push through the pain. 
I think I could have gotten 5th. I really do. 
But at least I fought. It was a huge step up from every other race this season.  

The other WONDERFUL thing about this weekend was getting to see my best friend Christi!! She lives in Portland, so she came to hang out with me in my hotel Friday night and cheered me on Saturday. I can't explain how happy it made me to see her- even for a few hours. 

I also ended up winning a cool Adidas bag for top 20. 
So cool and such a blessing!!!

Refueling with Voodoo Donuts? Yes please. 

Although, I'll be honest. I didn't end up getting one. I wanted to. I have been so excited about voodoo donuts for so long, and when I got there I just got stressed out. The line was so long and there were way too many choices and the workers were not happy to see a line of 28 hungry collegiate runners. Plus, they were like four bucks a piece. So I ended up empty handed. But I got some cute pictures of this "famous" establishment and pretended :)

Today has been church, homework, and errands. I did a little baking, too. Food prep for the week. Things like that. But I'm so content. So thankful.        

And something to leave you smiling. I miss my little nephew :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Focus on the Positives

This morning when I woke up, I felt 100 times better than I have been feeling lately.

I have been  pretty melancholic the last few days about Saturday's race and the way my season has gone and just some other complications in life... And I tend to over think everything, so I just have been dwelling on all of these negative thoughts.

And I realized that I was allowing myself to become hopeless, which I never usually do.
But this blog is called running on hope, right? 

So here are some things that give me hope. And some wonderful things that happened the last couple of days that I should have been focusing on instead of my doubts. 

1. I have some truly amazing people in my life that have been so encouraging to me over the last couple of days. I'm blown away by how loved I am.

2. I never, ever want to forget how blessed I am. I have been through a lot with running, and the fact that I am even here able to run for a collegiate cross country team is such a blessing!!!

3. Yesterday, at practice, my coach had us all make posters and cut out quotes from magazines and do goal setting. It sounds cheesy, but I'm so glad he did it. It really helped us all to refocus our goals for this season... for championships. And he gave me a magazine article on the mental aspect of running that he saved just for me. He's such a great coach. 

4. Despite Saturday's bad race, it truly was a wonderful day. My mom and dad and my brother and his wife all came to cheer me on (it was a local meet, finally!) My brother and his wife had never seen me run before. 
Then I got to go home for the first time since school started, and we spent the rest of the day together. 

Getting Pumpkin Spiced Lattes... the first one of the season!!!

And going to the movies....

And eating crepes at this delicious crepe restaurant. It made me miss France!!!

5. I get to see my best friend this weekend when I race in Portland!!!

6. Someone gave me a coffee gift card yesterday. Someone else sent me $50 in the mail just to bless me. And my brother and sister in law gave me money and treated me to lunch this weekend (they are wonderful). 

7. Last night I got to drink tea and eat dark chocolate and watch the Gossip Girl season premiere with a friend. And it was much needed. 

8. The King of the Universe loves me. I never want to forget that... or take it for granted. How amazing is it that he wants to talk to us all day long and is interested in every detail of our lives and truly cares and wants to bless us? 

You guys… life really is wonderful. There are so many beautiful, positive things that we miss if we dwell on the negatives.And I’m excited to race this weekend. Because I love running. And I love life. And I’m not about to give up hope. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

No Title..

I sort of feel like running has betrayed me a little bit. 

What I mean is, I don't understand how I can put so much work and effort in to something and never see the fruit of it. 

I don't understand why I'm racing so much slower than last year. 
I'm killing it in practices. 
I'm so much more fit than I was then. 

But I don't understand why it feels different. Why I don't feel confident. 

My coach told me today he hasn't given up on me. 
He thinks I just need to find that part of me that was here last year... the part that doesn't want to be beat. The confidence. The want. I want it so badly... but that hasn't been showing.

He also told me he thinks I have just taken on too much this year maybe. 
Maybe I don't have time to focus as much on running as I should. 

... I don't know what I think about that. I DO feel spread thin. But I don't feel I have a choice. And I thought I was doing okay balancing everything. 

The point is, after today's race, I feel like doing nothing more than giving up. I feel so down on myself. I feel like I'm never going to bounce back to my old self. 
And I feel like I don't deserve to run at a four year.

I don't want this blog to turn into a place of negativity, because I KNOW that everything is okay and that God is bigger than all this and that everything will work out. 

But I need to be honest. And I need to get it out. I feel like a failure. I don't know what's wrong with me. I only have a few races left to find that girl that was there last year. Maybe it came too easy for her. Maybe I'll have to work harder.... but I have to do it. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Just a spoonful of... Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread?

I know that I tend to use this blog to vent about how much I have to do... but that is only because I really do have a lot to do :) 

But doesn't everyone? Life's busy, you know? 

Tonight my teammates convinced me that homework and everything else I have to do could wait until tomorrow. And you know what? I'm glad they did. 

Life is way too short to work all the time. 

And chocolate chip pumpkin bread is a lot better than homework, if you ask me :)

A girls' night tonight was just the thing I needed. Chick flicks, girl talk, and a sugar high are all you need sometimes to chill you out!!! 

In case you were wondering, our pumpkin bread didn't cook all the way in the middle 
(just around the edges). 

Instead, it was a giant pile of chocolatey pumpkin gooey goodness that reminded me of half baked cookie dough! Mmmm! We ate it by the spoonful. 
 And it was healthy because it had oatmeal in it. And pumpkin. Duhhh. 

I love fall. I love friends. 
The end!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

It's a Trap... and Tangent Tuesday!

The internet is seriously dangerous, you guys. 

And no, I'm not talking about getting stalked on facebook or anything like that...

I'm simply saying that I got online about twenty minutes ago because I wanted to blog before I read some of my Sociology textbook before I went to bed at a reasonable hour... 

But I got caught up looking at other blogs and being on facebook and checking out recipe ideas (I have to cook for myself now and I'm getting sick of eating the same things over and over). 

But I finally pulled out of it :) So here goes!

Tangent Tuesday!!!!

1. I have had an overwhelming amount of homework lately. Hello, third week of school. Now you decide to get difficult?? Truthfully, it probably wouldn't be difficult if I didn't have so much on my plate this year and if I wasn't an overachiever. But oh well. 

2. I absolutely LOVE writing. I didn't know that not everyone in the world didn't carry around a composition notebook like me and wrote all the time. Apparently that's not normal. But I love it. I'm fairly confident that I'm supposed to do something with writing one day. Not novel writing... I don't think I would like that at all. But even blogging is a good start. 

3. Today is the second day of October, and I totally had pumpkin in my oatmeal to be autumn-like. Thank you, blogging world, for that wonderful idea. Also, who even knew how much better oatmeal tastes if it's cooked over a stove instead of in a microwave? So good. 

4. I got new running shoes. Actually, they are the same exact shoe, just new ones... and a different color. The store I buy them from only had these two colors available in my model: 

I hope I'm not offending anyone who has these shoes, but I hated both of these. And if I'm going to spend $115 on a pair of trainers, I need to at least be able to tolerate them!

They ordered these ones for me. I didn't choose, but they are much much better! I'm not a huge pink fan, but I'll need a new pair in four months anyway, so I can deal. 

5. Something happened today that made me impossibly happy and sad at the same time. And I can't stop thinking about it. 

6. I love my little sister. We have such a good relationship and build each other up so much in our faith. We always talk about God and give each other advice. I'm so proud of her!!!

7. I may not actually read Sociology tonight. I'm so tired, and my bed is calling my name. I have so much to do, but I can't learn on a tired brain! After two busy busy days and the killer work out yesterday still lingering in my muscles, I think sleep tonight may be more important than textbook reading. Goodnight world :) 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Happy Fall :)

I love fall. Not as much as summer, but it's still great. And, being that today is October 1st, I have a little fun fall survey for you all!
I'm partially avoiding doing my homework, but guys. This is really necessary :)
Apple picking or pumpkin picking?
I have never done either!!! But I suppose apple picking. Not because I don't like pumpkins, but because you cannot eat them while you pick! ;) 
Favorite apple recipe?
Homemade applesauce, chunky!!! Mmmmm
Favorite pumpkin recipe?
Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies! Or pumpkin pie :)
Favorite soup recipe?
uhhhh.... I don't even know. Not a huge soup fan!
Football: on TV or in the stadium?
Stadium!! Hoping to get to a BSU game this year!!
Favorite football team to cheer for?
BSU Broncos!!!! College football is where it's at.
Daylight Savings Time – love it or hate it?
eh. couldn't care less. except losing the hour of sleep is a bummer!
How do your workouts change (if at all) during the fall months?
Runners run. All the time. Through all kinds of weather. SO I just bundle up!
Favorite Halloween candy?

Any fashion essentials for fall weather?
Boots and tights and sweaters and scarves and mmmm don't get me started!!!
Do your meals change when the weather changes?
Not really. I'll probably start eating oatmeal more now! And canned pumpkin for days. 
Favorite fall dessert?
I like ice cream year round :)
Best thing about fall?
Pumpkin spiced lattes and the BEAUTIFUL trees!!!
Worst thing about fall?
The cold. I'm really a baby about it. 
Best thing that will happen in fall 2012?
Hopefully.... winning conference!

So far October has been fantastic! I had a GREAT practice today and really killed it... running six miles faster than I ran my three mile race on Saturday. I'm feeling pretty motivated. I'm off to take a bath do biology. 

Happy fall everyone :)