2,012 miles for $2,012 blueridgewomen.org

It's easy, just donate via FUNDEASY . Just $1.00 at a time. Love is a mile-by-mile kind of thing.

Monday, April 22, 2013

I passed!

I find it hard to reflect on a race.  It's sort of like reflecting on the way you cooked dinner.  "How did it feel when you sliced up the carrots and dropped them in the calphalon pot?"  Hmmm.

 An ideal road race like a marathon should feel mundane, exactly like your training except people kindly handing you water and saying, GO!  It's almost so effortless and forgettable because if you're like me you've run almost every day for over a year.  Can you remember everyday?  If you can, kudos, mine all blend together.  But I'll break down America's Toughest Road Marathon because reflection is good, especially when others were so kind and supportive.  Parts of the race were mundane, but because my Aunt Kathy and Uncle Steve came in from MD and Melissa ran the 1/2 too, and Barb Smith from church came to cheer, it made it way more special than any old training run.

Start-Miles 1-2-  With the horrors of Boston still fresh on all the runners minds, the start was quiet.  We said a moment of silence before a local opera singer did the honors to the Star Spangled Banner.  The first two miles ascend on Walnut which is a not-so-gradual incline up the Mill Mountain Parkway.  AKA, it's "easy tough."  I lost Melissa somewhere before mile 2 where the 1/2 marathoners continued to the start.

Miles-3-5- Familiar ground.  I ran this bit of the parkway at least 12 times the past 5 months so doing it with a few spectators was amazing.  I averaged 8:30/9 pace on this incline of about 1,000 feet over 3 miles

Miles 6-9 - Roanoke Mountain is this crazy, up-hill and then DOWN hill loop of 4 miles.  I found that I kept passing a lot of males on the downhill who'd then zoom by on the up.  It was such a gorgeous day with the leaves budding and that trickly, sunshine that I thoroughly enjoyed by 2 miles downhill.  And I got to pee at the top of the mountain (yes, in a porta-potty)

Miles 9-15 - we re-looped through a part of the course we'd been on and then up Mill Mountain.  It was again part of the course I'd actually trained on.  They had cliff CANDY and it was so yummy.  I always intend to run with my pockets full of starbursts but it never seems to happen.  When i was offered "healthy candy" I loaded up.

Miles 16-19- The race became HARD.  But at 17, right before I was about to head up Peakwood mountain, I saw Barb.  She's such a sweetie and told me that she had been praying for me.  Wow, it's just a marathon so it's always humbling when people are praying for you when you're just doing something "fun" that doesn't seem to serve any eternal purpose except to show off or just enjoy life.  Haha, but I was praying for me by the time I finished that awful mountain.

Miles 20-26- Slow.  I started noticing the giant blister on my left foot.  I started cursing the race-course designers.  I started regretting I hadn't really trained on this part of the course.  It was hard.  I met Pete, who was doing the ultra-marathon.  He passed me.  I passed him.  He passed me.  I never caught up.  Team FCAE with Mark Long were camped about mile 23ish which was an encouraging boost.  He said Seth Huffman was way ahead of me and having a great race.  So glad.  At this point I was hoping to break 4 hours but was just so glad I felt ok.

At mile 22 on Riverside drive, I ran into Blair Disque who zoomed past for her relay team.  I'll admit the relay runners were annoying to watch with their over-zealous energy next to your pure exhaustion.

Miles 26.0-26.2- Though there was little crowd support right at the end, Aunt Kathy and Uncle Steve were just walking up and yelled, "Hey, Caroline!"  I kept running at a decent clip through the finish despite the obstruction of 2 wide late-finishing 1/2 marathoners who I almost ran into.

4:01:32.  Praise Jesus.

Now I never have to run again but something tells me I will...

Sunday, April 14, 2013


It's six sleeps away and there's not a whole lot you can do at this point to prep for a marathon.  I know a little about marathons but I don't know quite as much about marathons as I do about exams.  I know a lot about exams which is a perk of spending six figures in higher education.

You can cram for exams and it can work.  But you can't cram for a marathon because the human body doesn't work like the human brain.  Yes, there is this great difference between exams and marathons but I will share with you the great similarity.

Some exams are pass/fail.
My marathon is pass/fail.

You don't study for a pass/fail exam.  You take it and hope for the best.  Usually you pass just 'cause deep down inside you know stuff from somewhere that pulls you through to achieve that 69.5% you need.

My marathon expectations are similar.  Deep down inside I have the mental acumen to make it up 3 mountains, through 26.2 grueling miles, and yet still smile at the end knowing, "I passed."

Training/shmaining.  Let's do this thing.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

23 Days, 10 hours, 38 seconds...

Alright.  So it's about time I attempt to update this forgotten running blog.  I will.

In short, most of my training has looked a lot like 4,5, 6 milers with a 10 miler thrown in every couple weeks for good measure.  Probably haven't gotten past 35 miles a week to be perfectly honest.  And why not be.  The Blue Ridge Marathon will be TOUGH.

I have, I must boast, completed in increments the scary 3 mountains of the course:

1) Roanoke Mountain: done.
2) Mill Mountain: done x 100.  Love that spot.
3) Peakwood Mountain: ouch but done.

Now to just put them together...and not die.

That mammoth one at the beginning is Roanoke mountain and now I see why: it really is a mountain.

And I ran up it.  Twice.  The second time was on Monday (I did Roanoke and Peakwood together) when I was supposed to be taking off the morning to study for an exam (whoopsies) and we had a freak snow storm so the road was semi-covered in icy snow.  It was incredibly beautiful and incredibly worth it.  I think the entire marathon will be too.

I'm starting to get pumped for this.  I'm gonna keep up the early morning gym routine which I finally got the hang of last week, lift loads of weights, drink loads of coffee, and celebrate Easter.

Happy marathoning, everyone (because all of LIFE is a marathon).

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Farewell, Anita (2005-2013)

I had a car and she was good.  Anita was a gift from dad and Hannah.  They both chipped in and Anita changed my life because having a car just does.  I named her Anita because it's one of Hannah's nicknames and I never ever wanted to take for granted the fact that generosity is the reason I could serve God with my car.

2005.  manual.  Hyundai.  115,000 miles (I added 70,000 of them).  Faithful.

And then wrecked her in a "reckless driving" incident (so says the policeman) on I-81 with my friend Abby.  I'm alive and still won't quite know how I did it because wrecks just happen like that. If I'd had it my way, I'd have wrecked her on I-95 where she'd collected so many good miles but she had to die sometime, right? I mean, at least I got to say goodbye.

What's so special about a tiny manual car that smells like mildew because you spilled coffee in it 500x?  What's so special about a car that obnoxiously is a two-door and confuses back-seater passengers every time they wanna get in and out?  What's so special about a manual that's CD player broke 2 days after acquiring it?  What's so special about a car that forces you to use two hands all the time and has no cruise control?  What's so special about Anita?

I guess it was the first time I drove to an abortion clinic to pray.  I got to drive and not bike and it was such a huge blessing.  I guess it was the time I drove Chloe to see an ultrasound of her baby from said clinic.  I guess it was the time that my friend Gina bailed me out when Anita got towed and I saw what true friendship really is.  I guess it was that time I drove from Roanoke to Virginia beach to run a big marathon with my friend Ehrin. I guess it's all those rides to church I was able to give underclassmen.  I guess it was the trips home to see mom and dad in Orlando and coming back to college with Anita loaded to the brim with free groceries.  I guess it was that time Katelyn and I hit a squirrel on our way out from Payne's Prairie. I guess it was that first time I drove myself to Publix and bought milk and didn't have to bike with it home.  I guess it was that time I drove all the way to Pennsylvania up I-95 to spend a summer in the woods...

70,000 miles.  Just me and car.  Anita enabled.

What's so special about a hunk of metal?  I guess it's what we choose to do with it.

Life goes on, God provides, we keep running, but there's just something special about inanimate objects that change our lives.

Farewell, Anita.
Look, it's Anita, Emma, and I right before my triathlon

In May 2012, the love bugs were unkind to poor Anita on our Florida road trip

Anita got us to the beach and back.  Joy.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

I lurve conferences!

So just this morning I got back from my annual pilgrimage to DC to commemorate the anniversary of Roe v. Wade which legalized abortion in all 9 months of pregnancy without restrictions.  Anyway, each year since 2010, I've attended the Students for Life of America Conference with about 2,000 other crazy, pro-life students.  And this is my last year attending as a student (tragic!).  Anyway, it's really because of this conference that I've been inspired to do things like tryING to run for babies and pregnancy centers, that I've pursued pro-life medicine, and that I've never felt alone in my staunch belief that mothers need our care and compassion no matter what.  It was a glorious time!  I wish everybody and their mom and their dad and their preborn baby and everyone could go!

I also experienced a life first: I signed books.  Courageous: Students Abolishing Abortion featuring yours truly and 12 other way more amazing, courageous pro-lifers was released.  The author and my personal hero, Kristan Hawkins, was signing copies and had we who featured sign books too.  Haha.  It was funny because it's honestly hard to sign books.  I have a new respect for authors and their books tours.  I am so easily distracted.

Proof: Emma snapping this rather blurry photo while I was attempting to write a note in a copy of the book:
The whole conference was challenging and educational; my medical pro-life hero, Dr. Byron Calhoun spoke about 100 students about perinatal hospice and why NOT to abort a baby with genetic defects (Guess what?  It's bad for women!)

I was able to bring my new friend Abby along and I'm pretty sure she had a great time too.  I mean, we look happy, right?  She's even coming with me to the next Pro-Life Medical Conference in February!  

The night before the conference, I had the glorious privilege of linking up with Florida pro-life friends who were all officers in the Pro-Life Alliance before we graduated.  I just can't even put into words how much each of these genuine, amazing people have impacted my life for God and justice.  It was so nice to be among like-minded friends.  Jean and I are planning a trip to Boston now just 'cause one night of hanging out wasn't enough.

And honestly the best of part of the lil journey was this woman, Emma.  My chapter in the book is aptly titled "The Sister" because that's my second-most important identity following "daughter of the King."  I'm just a sister to such beautiful daughters of Jesus.  Without Emma I would never be able to keep standing for truth when it's so unpopular, or accept grace from Jesus when I fail.  Emma is just fabulous and my love for her exceeds that of Jonathan and David's (take that!)  I've been so blessed by friends and family who survived the abortion holocaust and my heart bleeds for the ones missing their sisters and their friends.  My heart hurts for my sisters who have lost their little babies to abortion.  So though I fail and stumble along, I'll keep on keepin' just 'cause if we save even just one, it's so worth it!

I don't know if anyone reads this and they don't have to, but you are and you've gotten this far, please accept THE REALITY of the love and grace of the Great Savior NO MATTER WHAT.  One of the speakers, Scott Klusendorf, so aptly shared the gospel:

we're all rebels and we all need Jesus.  

I never wanna forget that.  I don't know where my journey against abortion will take me but I know who's taking me when I die and that's why I can even contemplate being Courageous.  There was one who was courageous for me so I will never fear and I will NEVER STOP SPEAKING FOR JUSTICE FOR ALL.

And in the words of my Uncle Kirby, "I AM SUPERCHARGED WITH ENTHUSIASM!"

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Whole life lovin'

I just got back from such an encouraging Sunday night church service.  It was just so great to pray for the gospel to bear fruit and grow and that life will be valued.  My pastor talked about James 1:27,

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

And it was cool because today I remembered one of my favorite books, There's No Me Without You, which is about one women who did look after orphans.

And it's convicting because as I've witnessed in my time rotating in the ER, kids, especially sick kids are hard to love.  They don't wanna talk or play and they hate it when you shove otoscopes in their ears.  Old people, especially demented widows are hard to love.  Their bodies and their hearts and their minds need so much concern.  And I was reminded by my pastor that the biggest accusation against pro-lifers is that they're "pro-birth" but that's it.  We just leave people abandoned.  I don't believe that the TRUE CHURCH does that but I think cultural Christianity does.

So, how can we not abandon our orphans and widows?

I'm a runner, not a good one but I do run.  I'm not a jogger.  The reason I'm a marathoner is I'm willing to DO IT EVERY DAY.  That's how habits start, then identity. 

We have to Love every day.  I'm not doing this well right now, but God is transforming.  Serve someone, anyone, and that's what will prove that we as pro-lifers are WHOLE LIFE.

We care about the whole person, regardless of their choices or failures.  

And I truly believe that orphans and widows, preborns and Alzheimer's people, will be cared for.


Thursday, January 3, 2013

I'm in a BOOK!

Most of you know, I'm pro-life and if you're on this blog then you definitely know.  For those of you who care to read, I'm no featured in Students for Life new book Courageous: Students Abolishing Abortion in This Lifetime.  I was interviewed this past summer about my pro-life journey and some stuff that happened last spring.

The other stories in the book are AMAZING and I'm so inspired and re-invigorated.  I honestly feel so humbled to have been asked because 99% of the time I am not courageous, but that's okay.  God is and He empowers us to do what he wants.

I want to help advertise the book and please let us know what you think by including a comment on Amazon.com.

And join this webcast if you wanna hear me blab this Monday night.  http://courageousthebook.com/

Just do something for life this year.  Come to the March for Life this year in DC!

Link to Amazon book

Keep runnin' for life, friends!