Goals Built On The Rock

MATTHEW 7:24-27


Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.

How does this scripture pertain to running? One word: goals.

Goals are necessary in training, but picking the right goal can be very difficult, especially for me! It’s the number one reason I fail objectives that I’ve laid out for me. In running (and in life) I often build my plans on sand. My plans are often lofty, overwhelming and built without a solid base.

For instance, I registered with some of my family members to participate in the Akron relay in September. My leg is 4.8 miles, and I have around 6 months to train for it. For someone who hasn’t run on a consistent, weekly basis since 2012, this was a good goal. It gives me plenty of time to work my way up to that mileage and evolve from a “once in a while” runner to a committed one. This was a goal founded on rock.

Of course, I don’t think that’s “good enough”, so recently I planned to train for the Cleveland half marathon in May. I told family members, friends and even blogged about it on here! Amidst school, work and an internship, not the mention the fact that I haven’t run consistently in 2 years, this was a plan build on sand. I even paid 30 dollars to participate in the Runner’s World Challenge! The first week of the training plan was already frustrating, overwhelming and difficult because I don’t have a solid foundation in running. This was a goal founded on sand.   

Some readers might think that I’m just a quitter and I should overcome this challenge despite having no foundation, but I think there is an important differentiation between challenging yourself and setting yourself up for failure. Challenges should blossom from strong roots. If I was already running 3-4 times a week (like most training plans require) than the half would have been a good challenge. But for right now, I am only setting myself up for injury and frustration.

Needless to say, I have changed my plan. My goal this week is to run Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Monday & Wednesday I am going to run one mile, and Friday two, with a minute walk warm up and cool down. I am going to blog a picture after each time, so y’all will know for sure I stuck to it (;

Have you ever made a goal built on sand?

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White ovals take endurance event marketing to a new level

Check out this feature of White Oval’s creator Jim Varga!

We Run and Ride

By Christopher Cudworth

White Ovals and their colorful cousins are popular ways to recognize achievements. White Ovals and their colorful cousins are popular ways to recognize achievements.

Businessman Jim Varga has a history of innovation with data and product fulfillment. His company Neofill built its reputation creating consumer connections for radio and other industries. The company has earned an A- rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Jim Varga is also a runner, and along the way to the finish line he dreamed up a really nice use of competitor data to provide races a way to recognize participants for their efforts. Varga took the classic “white oval” concept and its “26.2” and “13.1” and “140.6” designations to a new level. His use of variable data enables races to output and send out ovals with the exact results of each competitor’s finish time in any type of event from marathon to half-marathon, triathlon, Ironman or Half-Ironman, Century ride or any event that captures…

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Rock My Run: Product Review

Disclaimer: I am not getting paid for this review.

If you’re a runner and you don’t have this on your phone…you’re missing out.

Go to http://www.rockmyrun.com, or download the rock my run app.

You create an account, and then can download a workout mix of your favorite songs for free! It’s not a collage of songs in a genre, they’re like DJ mixes where they will add a beat in the background and cut down the songs length. I downloaded the app, and it’s awesome!

It’s nice because even though I love my iTunes, it’s refreshing to have a mix of songs that I’m not expecting. Plus slow songs I like they will add a beat too, which revamps the sound for running.

I used it the other day on a treadmill because it was too dark in the evening for me to safely run outside (I don’t have reflective wear yet). Definitely helps with treadmill days (:

You get one free download a month, which kind of sucks, but you can always pay to access more mixes or get more downloads.

Here’s a cool chart to pace your running:

12:00 minutes/mile = 05.00 mph = 130 bpm
11:30 minutes/mile = 05.22 mph = 135 bpm
11:00 minutes/mile = 05.45 mph = 140 bpm
10:30 minutes/mile = 05.71 mph = 145 bpm
10:00 minutes/mile = 06.00 mph = 150 bpm
09:30 minutes/mile = 06.32 mph = 155 bpm
09:00 minutes/mile = 06.67 mph = 160 bpm
08:30 minutes/mile = 07.06 mph = 165 bpm
08:00 minutes/mile = 07.50 mph = 170 bpm
07:30 minutes/mile = 08.00 mph = 175 bpm
07:00 minutes/mile = 08.57 mph = 180 bpm
06:30 minutes/mile = 09.23 mph = 185 bpm
06:00 minutes/mile = 10.00 mph = 190 bpm
05:30 minutes/mile = 10.91 mph = 195 bpm
05:00 minutes/mile = 12.00 mph = 200 bpm
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Trying to stand up after leg day

squat day

All I’m saying is I think it’s EVIL that you don’t feel the effect of squats and lunges until the next day. I’m walking like an old man!

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Before and After Photos Show Animals Growing Up, Remaining Adorable

Oh why didn’t I think to do this with Noop????


“Whoa-oh, what I want to know, where does the time go?” the Grateful Dead once asked. We’re not sure, guys, we’re not sure. But we assume they were asking themselves that question specifically in reference to their pets, because they just grow up so fast, don’t they?

These before-and-after photos, posted on Imgur, capture the growth of some really cute pets. The timespans range from just a few months to many years.

Five months apart:

Seven months apart:

One year apart:

Three years apart:

10 years apart:

12 years apart:

14 years apart:

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A tiny little ghost

Half marathon training has commenced! I switched from the beginner marathon training plan to first timer marathon training plan from the Runner’s World Challenge website. Can’t really tell ya why, but it has more weekly mileage on it. Yesterday was XT/rest, and I ended up resting. The family was going out to eat and then I had homework. College sucks the free out of free time.

However, I can’t figure out how I should track my progress. There are so many options. Before/after pictures, measurements, food log, the scale, weekly goals in a calendar, blogging….(Oh wait, I got the last one.)

(This girl is having way too much fun measuring.) how much fun

I think all options promote changing for the better, and therefore it’s kind of a “different strokes for different folks” situation. However, I am a little cautious in what I choose.

My caution stems from my personal struggle with a distorted body image and disordered eating patterns. That’s a really fancy way of saying “I had issues without being diagnosed with an eating disorder”. Although I consider it in my past, obviously I still haven’t mastered diet and exercise. I’m just simply more forgiving to myself now. And my goals have shifted their priorities. Even though sometimes I am haunted with temptation to cross the line back into my past, so far I have stood strong. It’s like a tiny little ghost peeping at me from behind a corner. It’s there, but I don’t give it the time of day.

Therefore, I am going to need to figure out a way to track my results that will promote healthy progress, both emotional and physical.

As of right now, my accountability will be following this training program and having fun doing it. I’m looking forward to being able to run 5 miles again while looking great. I really miss being a runner.

What’s your thoughts on accountability?

Runner’s World Challenge Product Review

(Disclaimer: I am not getting paid to write this, BTW…kinda wish I was).

Initial Impression 

The Runner’s World Challenge offers:

  • 18 half and full marathon training plans to choose from
  • Four months to freely access the Runner’s World Personal Trainer interactive training log
  • Personal coaching from experts in the fields of nutrition, injury-prevention and training
  • Motivational e-mails from Bart Yasso, the Chief Running Officer
  • A technical t-shirt
  • A book of your choice
  • Access to the Challenge community, an online village where you can connect to other people “taking the Challenge”

This link gives a visual for the offers:


It was a very loud, effective advertisement. I picked a half marathon plan and ordered it. I figured I needed help, since the last time I signed up for a half marathon I didn’t train at all (and I mean, AT ALL). I ended up getting a time of 2:50, which wasn’t bad since I was expecting it to take me 7 hours. Still, I figured I needed to extra help to stay consistent and committed to training.

I picked the half marathon challenge, which is 29.00 with free shipping. The marathon version is 49.00. From what I’ve seen, I don’t really know the difference in the services, unless they won’t let you access the marathon training plans. You have to email them for the plan you want.

Nit Picky Details 

When you actually place the order the offer seems to change. You don’t get to pick a book, your only option is a copy of “Runner’s World Complete Book of Running”. You get a free sports watch. There is nowhere to pick your t-shirt size, so I have no idea if I’m actually getting one.

To start receiving emails from Bart Yasso you need to register for the online interactive training log, i.e. the Personal Trainer log, not the normal one.

It would be cool if you could pick a training plan and the plan shows up on your online training log calendar. I feel like that would help you visualize an overview of your plan, and then record the results of each workout.

You have to email them for a training plan, they won’t let you see it online.

Their plans apparently include instructions for “daily workouts–plus our best tips on nutrition, gear, training, and injury-prevention.” I recently received my plan, which looks simple and effective. But I haven’t really seen where the daily instructions come into play. Unless they’re talking about my access to the website’s contents.

The PT log has a tab to keep track of the mileage of your shoes. That’s pretty cool.  It also has a mapmyrun.com type feature where you can use drag your mouse through a map on the computer showing where you ran and it will show you how many miles the route was. There’s no calorie look up for your food, but you can look it up yourself and store that knowledge to reuse in future posts (if you eat the same foods over and over).

I like the fitness calculators on the website. Besides BMI, for instance, you can calculate how much water you need.

You receive the tips from the experts through questions asked in forums and I think on their blog.

I think once you’re signed in the site the Runner’s World Challenge advertisement should leave the homepage. That just irks me. If this site is supposed to be so personal, why can’t a motivational runner picture replace the ad?


I may be happier once I get my free book and t-shirt and get over the unfamiliarity of it all, but for right now I wish I could have just printed out a plan from Hal Higon and use a good old notebook and pencil to log. It would have been easier, cost me less than 5 dollars, and would be just as effective. However, since I did pay 29.00 I feel like I have to make the most of it. After my half marathon, I will post another product review and see if I change my mind over time.

runners world challenge edited

I blurred out the plan since I don’t think Runner’s World would appreciate me distributing plans they ask people to pay for. But, this is what it looks like. Hal Higdon gives you a page of tips to go along with your running plan, while the Running World Challenge plan gives you like three sentences.

Here is a link to Hal Higdon’s website:


I hope this review was helpful!

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The Infamous Sticker

Yes! This is exactly what White Oval Stickers is all about! Couldn’t say it better myself!

My Heart and Hamstrings

I see them every time I’m driving down the road, walking through a parking lot, or staring out a passenger window. The bright white oval stickers on the rear of different cars stare back at me with bold black numbers. A single 5 x 3 sticker announcing to the world how far that driver ran.

There is something about seeing the milage in print that reinforces how bad-ass long distance running is. I love cruisin’ down the road and seeing 13.1, 26.2,  or any other outrageous number plastered on a car, and thinking “that runner earned his or her stripes.” In my mind that’s what an oval mileage sticker is. It’a runner’s personal trophy. It may just be a black and white sticker with a number on it,  lacking any sort of intricate eye catching design. And it may seem ridiculous to anyone who simply sees it as a number…

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Fear is a generous man.

This past week was brimming with answers to prayers, prayers that I didn’t even necessarily pray but were swirling in my mind. Within a two day period I found my wedding ceremony venue, my reception venue & my dress. All were affordable and perfect for me. Right after that, in another two day period, I found my running goal, training plan & running mantra.

It was a good week.

I discovered my running goal yesterday morning when my future brother-in-law, Jordan, created a group text and invited me along with other family members to compete in the Akron relay race. We will cover the distance of a marathon, expect the distance will be split up into 5 legs. I ended up with the distance of 4.8 miles, the second leg.

I am going to take advantage of a product by Runners World to help me train. At http://www.runnersworld.com/challenge you can choose the marathon training plan or the half marathon training plan and receive training advice and support for your plan. I have read that the trick to speed is endurance. If I can run double or triple the distance of my leg, than my time should increase than if I was simply training for 5 miles over and over again. It’s not like I don’t have time, my race isn’t until September 27!

Finally, my training motto:

“Human beings are made up of flesh and blood, and a miracle fiber called courage.”

 –George Patton

I am a very fearful person. And Fear is a generous man. He has given me many sleepless nights because I was afraid someone might break in at night. He gives me plenty of doubts, so that I can back out in case I fail. He has given me a multitude of hurtful words to say in case someone wounds my pride or breaks down my walls. And he’s always there to explain to me why my goals are lofty, stupid or dangerous.


“You really think you can afford getting married and moving out?”

“You really think your going to be able to keep up this whole horse thing? Give it up, life and kids and jobs are going to take it away from you anyway, just give it up right now before you get hurt or physically harmed.”

“Your going to run how much? Running outside is dangerous anyway. Girls get abducted all the time. Stick to the treadmill and the gym, be safe. Do 2-3 miles and be done.”

I don’t really know who Courage is yet. I don’t know what he’s like. But I’m willing to find out.

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