Friday, April 13, 2012


Why are we talking about last year right?
Uh ur…because I didn’t blog my run year at.all.
So this is my quick “smasheverythinginto1post” attempt :)

Lets look at the highlights – shall we:

My theme for last year was: “Getting Back in the Saddle”

After my 1st marathon in December 2010 my 2011 year was a hard comeback….seriously

(my lowest mileage in March and highest in August)

As you can see 1st quarter was a steady decline…
Excuses Excuses
Jan – Guess I need to “try” to Run
Feb – Too cold
March – Sick the entire month with a head/chest cold

And then from there the rest of 2011 was a rollercoaster at best.
You know: burned out, busy getting married, rebounding, trying to shake the love pounds, building endurance, getting back up to pace, blah blah blah.

Again….my year sucked and didn’t start looking up until towards the 4th quarter when I decided to register for a few races.

My highest mileage month being 73.1 miles in August and the lowest a whooping 6.3 miles in March. I ran a total of 576.3 miles for 2011.

Lessons learned in 2011:
1. Keep going no matter what!
2. If you fall off the wagon – it’s hard as #@!% to get back on it.
3. PUSH anyway
4. Despite race burn out, I need to sprinkle some throughout the year to stay on track/motivated.

As far as 2012:
I will let you know what I am working on in another post. Promise it won’t be a new year when I post again :)

However, I will say my 2012 goal is to run 800 miles for the year.
That would mean about 65 miles per month for an estimate of 780 total. Mas o Menos I just rounded up to 800.
Again more to come about 2012 year.

But lets take a quick look back, as I definitely want to recap the races I did in 2011.

Originally I planned on 2 races (LungStrong and Turkey Trot).
I actually did 3 races (LungStrong, ROCKtoberfest and Turkey Trot). I threw Rocktoberfest in at the last minute only for what I thought would be a cool medal.

I wanted to do the new Huntersville Half but after running ROCKtoberfest I was over the “hills”.

Here are my 2011 Race Recaps (literally based off my iPhone notes & pics):

1. LungStrong 15K – Date: 10/8/11 Race Time: 1:37
It’s just right mileage challenge to register for as I don’t consider 5K registrations worth it anymore.

I did a 1.3 mile warm- up because I wanted 10 miles in the race log for the upcoming half. So in the race I was always a mile ahead…man what mind games! LOL

It was a gorgeous day! Cool in the AM but warmed up and got sunny. It was a pretty route as well by the lake and going through a park and the neighborhoods had BIG beautiful homes. I didn’t preview the route like I normally do and there were a couple back loops on the route #ugh! And the route was filled with rooooooolling hills #doubleugh I did end up with my left toes going slightly numb but I pushed thru it.

As always I met a race angel (well two). Carrie was originally running and ended up supporting me but finishing the majority of it with me from mile 3 on.

My other race angel was an older gentleman name Rick he was a 2nd year lung cancer survivor. PRAISE GOD!! That’s what it was all about right?? The reason why I was out there! What a way to put things in perspective. And he was running strong!

This ended up being my 1st race that I ran continuous!!
Other 1sts:
1st race since my marathon break
1st race in 2012

Of course hubby was there to support since his sprang ankle – and caught me on video beasting it (my 1st race recording too!). No medal :( but there was a great Christian Rock band out there and this was my best pace the entire 2012.

2. ROCKtoberfest – Date: 10/22/11 Race Time: 2:26
4hrs of sleep
Bad dinner - chicken sauce
Upset stomach heartburn all nite
Took 6 pepto tablets
Saw an old run friend - William
45 degrees @ start Glad it really wasn't windy b/c it was crazy earlier in the week!
Emily from 15K ran 1st 2miles

Ran with Adam (my race angel) next 7 miles

(I was exhausted here! LOL)

Brief walk after 10mi mark again @ 12mi
Meet Hope & Becky who helped me take it in Last mile toughest Hubby ran w/ me thru the finish line
BIG NOTE: I was faster last year (10lbs lighter) but was "stronger"
this year ( crying & choking on hills)

Oooh Lord U r Awesome x2
If it wasn't for love
If it wasn't for your Grace
I don't know where I'd
Be w/o U

Poor crowd participation. Seem like low # of racers too.
But last half mile PINK sign: I know a healer his name is JESUS!!
Avon Breast Cancer walkers cheered on as they walked

3. Turkey Trot – Date: 11/24/11 Race Time: 51:10
Is a blur now but recall doing better than last year. It is such an easy and run race to do.

Ran it by myself as Hubby was still recovering from his heel stress fracture so he watched me from the sidelines. But there were love ladies out there to giggle with at the start line.

Overall 2011 was my "Come Back" year.

And so glad I had the courage to keep going!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Iz Married!

Soooo....after that Black Love Run post.....I disappeared BUT I had a lot going on, being sick the entire month of March along with work being simply i.n.s.a.n.e. not to mention planning one of the biggest moments in my life (besides being a 26.2 marathoner!) is that I got MARRIED! :) So for those of you who want the update outside of my typical pavement posts then see our wedding story and pics below. Stay tuned on my running entries soon!

Stacey Michelle Richards, 35

Christopher Kerry Henderson, 42

Hometown of the Bride:
Racine, WI

Hometown of the Groom:
Huntersville, NC

Wedding Date:

Wedding Location:
We had a courthouse wedding in Charlotte, NC!

Occupation of the Bride:
Nonprofit Professional

Occupation of the Groom:
Independent Contractor

Alma Mater of the Bride:
Johnson C. Smith University

Alma Mater of the Groom:
North Mecklenburg High School

How they met:
‘Chris and I met nine months ago on a rainy Friday night in August, 2010, at our church singles bowling event,’ Stacey said. ‘We were on the same bowling team.

We really did not take any special note of one another until the end of the evening, when I mentioned needing to get up early to go running. Chris immediately piped up and said he was a runner too and wanted to meet up with me.

We quickly began getting to know each other during our predawn runs each week, and he kept asking me out until one day I decided to give him, and love, a try. We started courting one another within a month.’

The moment they realized they wanted to be a couple for life:
‘There really isn’t an exact moment we can pinpoint that we decided to be together for a lifetime. The more we learned about each other the more we realized we were made for each other.

Soon after we ran our first race together back in October 2010, a half marathon (13.1 miles), and went on a trip to visit my family, we were certain that we had won each other's hearts!

Chris describes our relationship best. He says we are “a match made in heaven reunited on earth.”

The Proposal:
‘When we both decided to enter into a courtship, with the specific intent to be married, we discussed it many times and we prayed continuously that we were making the right decision.

During these discussions we not only talked about how marriage would be for us, but what kind of wedding we would like to have, and before we knew it we were planning a wedding … without a formal proposal.

It was all so natural we just flowed right into it! I always joke that Chris got off easy!’

The Wedding:
‘When selecting our wedding date, we really took a look at the dates and the significance of them. We wanted it to be meaningful.

We selected the 1st of the month because the number one means GODhead, unity and undivided. We both love the month of April since both of our birthdays are in this month and our favorite season is spring. Yes, April 1st, April Fools Day!

This meant we would have just a little over a month to plan the wedding! We thought, 'How appropriate to celebrate our wedding on April Fool's Day, since no one would believe that we got married so quickly.' It fit us perfectly!

The week leading up to the wedding was rainy and we were concerned the actual day would be gloomy, but that afternoon the sun came out and it was simply beautiful.

The trees and flowers were blooming and it was the perfect cool spring temperature.

We were surprised and delighted to see how many couples were getting married on April Fools Day at the courthouse, and as each couple came out there was a wave of cheers that gave an element of fun and excitement.

We selected royal purple as our accent color for the wedding. I had a vintage look in a unique ivory dress, birdcage veil and royal purple shoes to add flare.

We had a small wedding cake celebration afterwards that gave us an opportunity to exchange our intimate and personal vows with each other and express our love in front of our close family and friends. Chris’ mother made the wedding cake which added a special touch to the day.

Some of our guests were oblivious to the ‘special announcement’ we were about to make, which added to the April Fools Day surprise.

Guests had the option to complete a “Love Note” sharing any wedding sentiments or marriage advice to us. This was a unique twist and expansion on the guestbook, as the ribboned cards were later slipped into the extra pages to be remembered.

It was just what we wanted for our wedding day. To be effortless, meaningful and filled with joy!’

The Honeymoon:
‘We took a couple of mini weekend getaways in our wedding month, all of which were centered around the mountains. We visited Biltmore Estates during the Festival of Flowers and got some quality quiet time at a private mountain home. It was a wonderful way of enjoying our wedding bliss!’

Their Plans:
‘Our personal backgrounds made us realize why we were brought together. We know that through a ministry in GOD, we are to help others overcome the obstacles we have been through. We compliment each other in that Chris is a visionary and I am an organizer.

As we plan to work together in ministry, we also look forward to starting a family soon.’

Advice to Others:
‘Make your wedding your own personal statement, and know it is not based on man’s approval but GOD’s approval.

We highly recommend 50 kisses a day (Seriously, it works.) And to always keep GODas your first love, coming together in prayer daily.’

Monday, February 28, 2011

Black Love Runs

On this last day of February wanted to close out featuring the Black Love Run organized earlier this month with two other couples.

Figured it is rare when you see "us" running let alone couples! So why not get a few of us together?
We had a great time doing about 4.5-6 miles and it was nice just getting together and supporting one another.

Keep the LOVE going!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Love & Running: Stacey & Chris

In closing out the month of February, love month, thought I would share what was featured on Black Girls Run site celebrating love and how our men support us!

It’s funny how you enter into one thing for one reason and come out with something different than what you planned. Something more. Something better. Something sweeter.

The primary reason why I started running was to drop 20lbs. Plain and simple. I wanted a total body makeover that would lean me out and a cost efficient way of doing it. It turned out that running was a great source of empowerment for me. It strengthened me at the core and helped grow me spiritually too. All great outcomes I was pleased to gain while running.

And then I began training for a marathon, and while I was out bowling at my church singles night I just happened to mention needing to leave early for a long run in the morning. Chris was on my bowling team and immediately piped up how he was a runner too and wanted to meet up for a run.

Well that was more than six months ago and we are happily still running together. It has been a great commonality for us. I never would have thought in starting to run I would meet my love.

Running together works in our relationship in supporting one another and has become another way we communicate about our day, past, and our future. Chris has even incorporated pray during our running time for the neighborhood and others we see along our run.

Naturally Chris is a faster runner than I am and truly runs more for my benefit than anything, and that means so much to me. The companionship means a lot and getting a call or a text asking if we want to go for a run puts a smile on my face. It means he wants to spend time together and do something that benefits both of us in staying healthy.

Another plus in running with my man is his encouragement when I get weary or hit my weak spots in running. Those lovely hills.

Chris will give verbal encouragement along the way such as:
~ I will preserve I will endure
~ I am the head and not the tail
~ I am above and not beneath
~ This hill strengthens me
~ This hill builds me
~ This hill is iron and I am iron & Iron sharpens iron
~ I look to the hill which comes my help; my help comes from the LORD
~ I conquer this hill for perseverance, I conquer this hill for endurance, I conquer this hill because I am survivor, because it shapes me.
~ Can’t stop won’t stop for the cause of Christ

Chris even holds my hand during the hills for that extra physical support or when my foot begins to numb while running he will massage it along the way.

Now don’t get it twisted he doesn’t “baby me up” all the time and truly gives me the extra push when I need it the most. He even quietly forces to me to work on my pace as I try to keep up with his faster stride, but he normally tends to have to circle back so I can keep up.

As I mentioned earlier there truly is more benefits for me to run with Chris but it really is a wonderful activity we can do together.

I was a runner before I met Stacey and as we began to talk about running we actually started about the same time. I entered into running because as I watched my parents get older and their health fail I made the commitment that would not happen to me. I wanted to lose weight and stay in shape through running.

I was only about two months in when I started running and completed my first half marathon. I had no idea what I was doing just had a goal and wanted to complete it. It was the most wonderful experience I ever had pushing through at the end all by myself and knowing that God was sustaining me. After the race I slowly stopped running and wanted to get back into it again.

Then I met Stacey who mentioned running the same marathon I did that past winter and that got me excited as I now had a new goal to try and beat my last marathon time, and a way to get to know Stacey more through running.

When I realized Stacey was also a runner that encouraged me even the more to want to run because I was about to lose the passion for running and had nobody to share this desire with so just having her by my side is support enough in sharing this common interest. I have come to the realization that all things are possible through God who strengthens me and having Stacey gives me that extra confidence I sometimes need in running.

She supports me by making sure I am signed up for races and giving me the low down on what is going on in the running community and groups, as well the latest gear and types of food to eat. She has even inspired me to want to run a full marathon since she completed her first one this past December.

As we run together I think about how long we will live together and how running replenishes our bodies and keeps them in great shape. And that our future kids will be running with us and teaching them how to be healthy. Even though I run at a faster pace than Stacey sometimes I enjoy running behind her seeing her little feet point out Haha. So just running and looking over at her and thinking about how much she means to me gives me great joy in running. I struck it rich when I found Stacey. I love running with her and look forward to running with her. And she is everything to me especially when it comes to running.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


RUN because you have to.

RUN because you love it.

RUN because you want to be fast.

RUN because you want to be skinny.

RUN to find some quiet time.

RUN to sweat.

RUN to eat.

RUN hear your heart pound in your ears.

RUN because you're a runner.

RUN because you gotta keep the streak.

RUN because you don't... know why the hell you're running.

RUN because you fought with your partner.

RUN because your job is sh#tty.

RUN because you got no money.

RUN for the sunrise.

RUN for a race.

RUN because it's impossible.

RUN because it's easy.

RUN instead of doing the laundry.

RUN instead of watching TV.

RUN because no one else understands.

RUN because the cool kids do it.

RUN because you're tired of talking.

RUN for numbers.

RUN for feel.

RUN to prove something.

RUN because it f#@king hurts.

Or don't run. If you got something better to do.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Break Over

Welp it has been over a month since I did my 1st marathon.
Seems like eons ago but it really wasn't that long ago.

And I still can't believe "I" 'Me" "Stacey Michelle" actually did it!!

Here are a couple of fav pics that trickled in after the marathon
(with my Red Squad group)
I LUV the "pack" look and we so look like a TEAM! Unity!!

And this one of me and my baby :)

(Black Love!)

I still haven't bite the bullet on purchasing all of my marathon photos yet...I gotta hurry up and make the decision before they take them off this week...we shall see.

There are a few things I wanted to mention regarding my "recovery" that I would have done differently:

  1. Take an ice bath!! Yes!! DO IT! And IMMEDIATELY after your race
  2. Take an epsom salt bath a couple of days later
  3. Get a massage! (recommended a few days later as well)

All three of these things I regret not doing (and knew better!) and would have aided in faster recovery with less soreness, aches, & pains.

Life After the Marathon

  • I took a 3 week break (and needed it!!)
  • Slowly got back into running by doing intervals (1:2). First run was about 2.3 miles and half way in my knees started aching...lawd help me
  • My desire to run was - zelch
  • Getting started again was hard as hell! (Thank you Chris for pushing & encouraging me)
  • I didn't think I had to start all over again...but I did..literally (did lots of walking and did a lot of 4 milers)
  • Did my 1st "long" run since the marathon of 8 miles - and thought I was just finished a marathon LOL
  • My knees didn't get back into feeling "normal" until about 4 runs later
  • Winter time cold AM temps did not help me get back into my groove at all. As I don't do well with evening runs (hard to squeeze in with busy schedule).
  • Desire to run any race....nonexistent!
  • And can you believe I plan to do another marathon this year *gasp*
  • Overall glad I am back at it again

2010 Race Year in Review

Love that I did so many races. It was my 1st year of running and that is what kept me motivated.

Overall I did 9 races: 3 - 5Ks, 3- 10Ks, 1- 8k, 1 - half, and 1 - full :)

December was my lowest mileage month of 32.5 as the majority of it was my marathon miles and a taper run prior to the race.

As I mentioned I have been having the winter blahs and a rough time getting back into running post marathon well these new kicks shook a little of that off

I won the pair on the right! Why not go for something funky that will make a great racing shoe. Maybe I will get my racing mojo back in time for my half marathon scheduled in March...right around the corner!

Run Strong Peeps!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Because I Can

Right on time for me and I just loved this blog excerpt By Kristin Armstrong - Mile Markers

"On my jog this morning. The cool air felt fresh in my lungs. My legs felt heavy but happy to move after a period of rest. The morning sun made me squint under the visor of my cap. My feet made the familiar slap slap slap beneath me. I wasn't running to clear my head (it was already clear). I wasn't running as part of a to-do on my training program. I wasn't running to shed any pounds. I wasn't running with a Garmin to keep any pace. I wasn't running with any agenda, direction, or distance in mind. I wasn't running as a have-to, to check it off my list. I wasn't running to alleviate heaviness of heart. I wasn't running to mull over a problem. I wasn't running to burn off a bad mood. I wasn't running to purge any toxins. I wasn't running because I was in a hurry.

Today was one of those times where the sweetness of this statement overrides all else:

I run because I can.

Any time we decide to take it.

So take it. Because you can"

Happy New Year!