Why the blog?

I write as the Spirit moves me. I have prayed about what I'm supposed to do with my life a lot. A lot. Writing. Writing is what I believe God is leading me to do. Whether or not He wants me to write for anyone to read is His business. Much of my writing has been therapy for me so maybe I'm the only one who is supposed to read it. So, why the Blog? As a sounding board, a note pad, a place to keep my ideas and thoughts. A place to share and promote my books, and photography. Written prayers, a place to vent. Possibly, even a place for the unknown reader to learn about the love of Jesus.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Today's Thoughts and a Recipe

Today didn't go as planned.  It happens.  I'm not terribly disappointed.  Last week my long run was an awesome 21 miles without stopping and I had hoped for a repeat and maybe push it to 22 miles.  Didn't happen.  At mile 8 my left ankle began to hurt.  Same ankle and same location as two weeks ago.  Because I'm leaving for Panama on a mission trip in four days and I have a marathon in a month, I decided to call it quits and walk.  It didn't hurt to walk so I didn't even think about calling someone for a ride home.  So, mile 8.5 I begin to walk.  Then I realize - I'm a long way from home!  Sure enough, I walk 6.5 miles.  It wasn't too hot (I had started at 5:30 am) so I wasn't miserable.  Things like this happen and I got the time on my feet, which is good for my training. I think praying during the entire 3+ hours really helped me stay positive, no, I know it did.

I prayed about such things as the state of this world, how people get so wrapped up in other people's business.  I don't really care who's doing what to whom or what someone I don't know is doing to their body, what this country is doing or if the sky is falling.  What other people do is between them and God. 

Let me re-phrase this:  I care, I'm simply not going to let outside forces manipulate my thoughts and behaviors. I had a long discussion with one of my children the other day about control.  Do what you can, not what you can't.  You have control over your own thoughts and words and actions. Nothing more. The rest is in God's hands.  The battle isn't between ISIS and the world, between this person or that person and the media, it IS between God and Satan.  I know for a fact who has already won (God) and, therefore, I don't sweat the little stuff - such as what other people/governments/media/political groups do or think.  

This does not, however, mean that you should not be involved and sit on your thumbs.  Do what you can, not what you can't.  Volunteer at a homeless mission, vote, plant seeds of the Good News, teach people truth, do a good deed, be kind and love one another, etc.  

So, read the news, listen to the media, listen to your family/friends/neighbors then think "What can I do that is positive?"  Gossip about him/her/the situation?  No.  Worry?  No.  Post inflammatory comments all over social media?  No.  

Do one good thing.

Then do another.

Love your neighbor.  

Trust in the one true God that has already won the war.
John 16:33 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world."


Now, back to today.  
I'm sitting here on my couch, feet up, craving chocolate.

























I've got my compression socks on, feet propped up after my "long run" and I'm craving something sweet.  I eat a few jelly beans, but that doesn't do it.

Cookies!!  I want cookies, but not just any cookies because I'm allergic to dairy and don't eat store bought cookies.

Mixing up a batch. 

I decide to whip up a batch of double chocolate, espresso cookies.  Dark chocolate chips, cacao powder, espresso powder, and lots of love.

Almost ready for the oven.

You have to press them down because they don't spread.

Fresh out of the oven.

Yummy double chocolate chip espresso cookies!

RECIPE:

2-1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup plus 2 TBS all-natural applesauce
1/2 cup plus 1 TBS coconut oil
1-1/2 cup agave or honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
8 oz dairy-free dark chocolate chips
1/2 c cacao powder (not cocoa powder)
2 tsp espresso powder

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cream together wet ingredients then add the chocolate chips.  Add dry ingredients.  If the batter seems dry add more applesauce.  
Spoon batter onto parchment paper
Spray your fingers with non-stick spray and press the batter.  These will not spread out.  You can leave them in little balls if you want, just turn temp to 325 and cook a little longer.
Bake for 8 minutes, let cool, then enjoy with a cold glass of almond milk or other non-dairy milk.

Here are a few more pics of some recipes I've recently tried:

Spinach crackers

Frozen banana bombs

No bake vegan carrot cake

Hope you enjoyed the blog and the recipe!  

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Road to Deseret

Friends and family have often asked me how I'm able to run a marathon, much less a 5K.  It's no secret - one foot in front of the other.

Seriously though, it takes training, time, patience, and the right resources.  I have used several training logs/plans/programs including GallowayRunner's World, and my all-time favorite Strength Running.  I've learned a lot from each plan - schedules, nutrition, injury prevention, strength, and keeping a log. 

This is my log.

I've never kept a running log, at least not a detailed one.  I kept on my mirror a list - 
Sunday - rest
Monday - short run
Tuesday - strength
Wednesday - short run
Thursday - core
Friday - Long run
Saturday - cross train

I generally adhered to that, tweaked it as necessary, but didn't really think about keeping a journal until this race.  The upcoming race, in July, will be my sixth marathon.  I want to look back and see what worked, what didn't, how I can do better the next time without spending hours looking over Facebook posts.  

If you're a runner looking for a training plan for your next or first race, read with the following in mind - This is how I trained, it worked for me (I hope).  It is not your perfect textbook training plan.  I've made mistakes, slacked off when I should have pushed and vice versa, and I've had setbacks.  Read my journal, laugh, cry, shake your head and think 'well that was dumb', applaud, whatever, then go back up to the links and find a plan for you.  

Be warned - it is long.  The log/journal started way back on March 30th.  The workouts listed such as Sabre, Stiletto, Ballista, etc. come from Strength Running.  You can look them up online and on YouTube.  I don't list specific abdominal exercises.  Again, find them online.


3/30/2015 - Sabre Warm Up.  10-mile run, 1 mile walk
3/31/2015 - Standard Core, Stilletto, Treadmill 40 minutes
4/1 - Sabre
4/2 - 11 miles, strength
4/3 - abs
4/6 - Warm up, Clay Loop 9.79 miles.  Clay Loop video
4/7  - Treadmill, strength
4/8 - 10.3 miles with hills, Pike
4/9 - 14 miles Clay Loop.  On this run I met Desiree Linden and her training team. Quite the honor.
4/10 - Strength, abs
4/11 - 6 miles treadmill with negative incline.  Explanation - My next race is about 90% downhill.  So, I raised the back end of my treadmill up with 2x4 boards, initially, to give me a constant downhill.
4/13 - 10 miles Clay Loop, squats
4/14 - Ballista, Core, Stilletto, treadmill walk
4/15 - 10 miles easy.  Didn't sleep well the night before.  Saw a noisy crane during my run.
4/16 - abs, 10.3 miles Clay Loop, squats
4/17 - treadmill - 45 minutes easy; 7 mph 2 min/4/4; 8 mph 1/1/1:30; 6-7 2 min - total 9.5 miles
4/20 - core (abs and core are basically the same)
4/20 - Apopka Loop with a group 12.7 miles.  Saw lots of wild critters.  Apopka Loop Trail video.
4/21 - West Orange bike trail 12.72 miles
4/22 - core, strength, sprints 7 miles
4/23 - core
4/24 - 16 miles around my neighborhood in Apopka.
4/27 - rainy day.  strength, 10 miles on treadmill up to a 5 incline
4/28 - rainstorms again.  Treadmill, stairs in my house, core, strength, negative incline walk.
4/29 - Sick on the couch.  Nothing.
4/30 - 10 miles easy
5/1 - Sick day again.  I don't like being sick!
5/2 - High school stadium stairs.  
Running the steps
Strength Training




See the blue steps?  I ran a lap around the track then up and down all six sets of steps.  Repeated the circuit four times.  Plus, there are 9 steps up on each side and two set of nine steps in the center.
5/4 - Core (Bob Harper's YouTube channel), Apopka Loop Trail 12 miles.
Saw 12 gators on this run.
5/5 - Hill Repeats on Clay Loop. 11 miles.  The cows were not happy with my choice of music.  Then, I was stuck in a traffic jam on the way home.  
My companion on Clay Loop

Calves in a pasture on Clay Loop

Traffic Jam for miles!

5/6 - Core.  That's all today, I'm tired! Recovery day.
5/7 - 18.5 miles around neighborhood.
5/9 - Stadium step circuit
5/11 - 8 mile easy run with a few sprints.  Sore from step run.
5/12 - 45-minute walk on treadmill with negative incline.  Core.
5/13 - 10 miles.
5/14 - core
5/15 - 19 miles on the West Orange Trail at 9:49 pace.  Not bad!  Core.
5/18 - Sprint Intervals with my son as coach and time keeper.  10 miles.
5/19 - core.  Walk on treadmill to break in new Teva hiking shoes 1.5 hours.  Later in the day, I twisted or strained the top of my left foot/ankle.

Here's where things get interesting.  Almost every training cycle, when I reach the week I'm to do 20 miles, something happens.  Illness, injury (usually not run related), travel.  This cycle is no different!  Ugh!!  

5/20  - Ankle hurts on treadmill attempt and road attempt.  Stationary bike for 20 minutes.  Core.
5/21 - Bike 45 minutes
5/22 - 16.8 miles.  Took it slow because of ankle soreness.  That evening - I accidentally kicked the stairs and broke my left 2nd toe.  Can you believe it!?
5/23 - Toe looked and felt fine.  Question break or bruise.  Ran 7 miles on the Recreation Field with my husband.
Broken toe.
5/24 - Toe doesn't hurt with shoes on.  3.5 miles on treadmill.
5/25 - 6.6 miles at the Recreation Field.
5/26 - Elliptical, walk on treadmill, mow grass (yes mowing grass counts as a workout with my yard)
5/27 - 11 miles neighborhood
5/28 - Core, hamstring curls
5/29 - 21 miles at a 9:55 pace and no walking.  Not going to let a little thing like a broken toe slow me down.  Besides, it doesn't hurt.
5/30 - Stadium step circuit - 3 circuits of up and down all blue steps; 8x up and down the same blue staircase; 4x up and down the silver seats, walk 2 miles
6/1 - Chakram, Standard Core, hamstring curls, treadmill with a high negative incline 4 miles (concrete blocks did the trick)
6/2 - Core and warmup, 10 miles with 0:45 sec/60 sec/0.5 mile run/sprint/walk repeats with hills
6/3 - Easy day.  Core, 3.5 miles on treadmill.  Mowed the lawn.  

I'm going to stop here for now.  I leave on the 9th for a mission trip to Panama. Please pray for me and the team I'm going with. The plan for 6/4 is rest and 6/5 is 22 miles. Also plan to hike a mountain in Panama.  I'll let you know how it all goes next post.  I'll leave you with a few random photos.  God bless and Have a Nice Run!


Core workout with my shadow, Oliver

Icing my feet after a long run

On the bike after injury

Early morning run at the Recreation Field

#RunForCharity #TEAM413

Post-run recovery smoothie

#Runergy bar before, #Smoothie after

Monday, May 11, 2015

How to Bathe a Cat in 19 Easy Steps

Seriously?  You've never bathed your cat?  My first cat, on my own in my own home, was a tiny, scrawny, ugly little kitten with fleas.  She was a gift.  I'm glad to say she grew up to be a beautiful cat and sad to say she passed away at the ripe old age of 18.  This cat was bathed often.  At first it was to get rid of fleas. In Houston, Texas it is HOT in the summer.  She had long hair and she often slept in the cool bathtub, especially after my showers while the tub was still wet.  Bathing her was easy.  She liked it. Not all cats do.  

Bathing cats can be like bathing 2-year-old boys.  Sometimes you have to get in with them and have a little fun.  

The following is a step-by step guide of how to bathe your cat:

1.  Cut their nails.  Really.  Those things are dangerous and have torn up a few good shower curtains, not to mention my skin.
2.  Gather all your supplies.  Towels (plural), soap, plastic cup or bowl, comb, blow drier, change of clothes.  Band-aids if you skipped step 1.  
3.  Put kitty in the bathroom and close the door.  Love on them a little by combing or brushing their fur and cutting their nails (if you haven't already done so).
4.  Turn on the shower - yes I said the shower - and let it run for a little while and get it to warm to tepid.  A shower with a glass enclosure works better than a tub with a curtain.  Kitty can dive right through those things and pull down the curtain, rod and all.
5.  Get naked.  Yep. Go ahead and strip down, you're going to get all wet anyway.  
6.  Lovingly pick up kitty and love on him/her - feet facing out - and back into the shower.
7.  Close the door!!!  Quickly.
8.  Put kitty down, gently, not under the water spray and let them roam around and holler.  They will holler, moan, cry, scream.  You know, just like little boys who don't want to take a bath.
9.  Kneel down or sit down and nudge kitty under the water. They won't like it - at first - or at all.  Fill up the cup, pour it on to get kitty all wet then start massaging in the soap.  This part they might like.  The attention and the rub down is pleasurable if they can forget the wet, wet water and the noise of the shower.  
10.  Talk or sing to kitty.  
11.  Stay calm.  
12.  Now rinse.  If possible, pick up kitty - feet facing away from your delicate skin and stand up so the shower gets their belly. 
13.  All rinsed, time to squeegie.  Squeeze out as much water as possible so it doesn't end up all over your floor. 
14.  Carefully open the shower door and get the towel (or hang it over the door).  
15.  Dry your eyes then dry kitty as much as possible.  Wrap kitty in the towel and exit the shower.
16.  Place kitty on the counter and give him/her a good rub down.
17.  With blow drier on low and warm, give the full spa treatment with a blow out.  The delicate kitty skin will appreciate this gesture.  
18.  Dry yourself off and get dressed.
19.  Celebrate your success with a favorite delicacy or beverage.




Oliver during his shower.

Sally getting her post-shower rubdown

Time to blow-dry

Sally - Queen of her Domain.


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Team 413

Several years ago I stumbled across a Facebook post that captured my attention.  It was all about my favorite Bible verse:  Philippians 4:13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (NIV).  The page? 
TEAM 413 - GRACERUNNERS MINISTRIES

I clicked on "like" and began getting daily quotes that I gladly shared.  This was, as I discovered, a ministry that reached out to people like me - endurance athletes.  I had found, or rather, God had placed before me a group of people with similar goals and interests and I was excited to share and be a part of their ministry.  

A large part of their ministry is going to race Expos where they sell their TEAM 413 t-shirts and share their faith.  On my next Disney race expo day I made a point of going to their booth to buy my shirt so I could wear it proudly.  Chis Gillespie was there and I met and spoke to him for a few minutes not knowing what lay ahead.  

From their Facebook page, here is a little more information:
Mission:  Our mission is to... Share the love of Christ in the athletic world through words and actions; Promote the physical, mental, and spiritual well being of the athlete; Minister to runners in road races across the country as we run "side by side!"
Overview and description: TEAM 413 exists to share the love of Christ in the athletic arena, promote the physical, mental, and spiritual health of the athlete, and compete in road races across the country.  Our mission is to... Share the love of Christ in the athletic world through words and actions; Promote the physical, mental, and spiritual well being of the athlete; Minister to runners in road races across the country as we run "side by side".  We believe that the truth of "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" in Philippians 4:13 is our call to serve Christ in ALL we do.  From one t-shirt to a worldwide ministry ---Chris Gillespie, founder and executive director, calls TEAM 413 a miracle of God's grace.  In 2003 Gillespie founded TEAM 413 inspired by God's calling in his life.  Even though he is the Director of Athletic Training Education at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabana ---TEAM 413 is a passion --- a labor of love for runners and other endurance athletes from all over the world.  Whether challenging others to walk a lap around a track or run a mile, change an attitude or improve a relationship, Gillespie shares a message of confidence, perseverance, courage, and strength.  His goal is to exhibit in his own life and to part to others the truth of Philippians 4:13 -- "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."  


Like any other ministry, they need money to operate and they do that through fundraising.  Team 413 Gracerunner Journey 2015 has just begun and I am proud to be a part of it.  Before writing this blog and before promoting and asking for donations I wanted to know a little more about where the money went.  I did what most people do, I asked a question on the Facebook post.  The following day, much to my surprise, I received a call from Chis Gillespie, founder and executive director who gave me more information that I had anticipated and I am thankful for his call.

This is what I learned:  100% of the donations from this fundraiser will go to expand the ministry.  The mission field is endurance athletes.  It will pay for entry fees to race expos (Disney costs $3,000!).  It pays for daily operations (no one involved gets a salary).  It goes towards other mission efforts such as supporting young runners by buying uniforms.  Chris told me the money raised is for the "potential for eternity".  

liked his answers.  I appreciated his phone call.  I loved his passion for Christ and the ministry laid before him. 

If what you read touches your heart, won't you please pray and then if God moves you to do so, click on the caption under the picture and donate and/or join my team to help raise the needed funds for this awesome ministry.  In Disney races alone, there are upwards of 15 thousand people who can be reached for Christ.  Chris told me this story, and it's not a direct quote:  He was at a race, wearing his TEAM 413 t-shirt.  A man tapped him on the shoulder and they began to talk.  They prayed together.  By the time they crossed the finish line - together - the man had accepted Christ.  One t-shirt, one soul saved.

Colleen Wait Edits

Colleen Wait Edits

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This YouTube channel was created to add video to my blog.  Read it here:  www.colleenwaitwrites.blogspot.com.  I write about my life, my books, my family, my cats and kids, and of course travel.