Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Where I ought to be.

It always amazes me the connections that Bootcamp has with so many other things in my life, like how some random preacher kid last night made me realize what I was leaving OUT of Bootcamp and why it was so hard on me, well played Cody Harris well played. I know now what I left out all these months, or left at home, or left somewhere else. I do have to remember that God needs to be everywhere not just in church.

Prior to hearing the powerful message at church last night I was at Bootcamp, (yes I did go to church smelly and sweaty, and I was still welcomed with literal open arms!) and while we were standing in yet another church parking lot, (apparently I needed church last night) Coach Adam spoke about giving Bootcamp our all, about having a goal, about how bootcamp can make you feel so much better and for us to celebrate our accomplishments and be proud of the work we put in. While he was talking all I could think was, yea and I have now learned how miserable and bad I feel when I am NOT with my Bootcamp family. I can honestly say I have not only been miserable with myself since the half marathon, I have been also completely miserable to be around! No more of that, I am back and giving it my all, even though I am 17th on a team of 17, I learned last night that IT IS OK! That I didn't have to be first on the team, I just had to be out there giving it my all and serving where I am needed.

When I decided that it was time to go back to Bootcamp some people questioned if I was ready, most of the time I am, sometimes I am not, like when we are doing frog hops, my groin is NOT ready for frog hops! I did all but one however, and I still jogged back to the gym. The simple truth is mentally I HAD to go back, even if physically I was no where near ready. I also made a promise to myself (which I kept for all of 5 minutes) that I was not going to worry about, how many, how far, or how fast, this camp I was going to worry about technique and doing it right. Last night as we took off from the gym, I was in the back huffing and puffing and ouchieing but I made it to the gates and did the first set of INSANE FLIPPING run and drops.  I was in the back and didn't finish the last set because they were waiting on me but I can say this I DID THOSE PUSH UPS CORRECTLY! Adams speech at the corner was about running technique and making sure we were running the correct way and then the light bulb went off in my head.

I was not running correctly when we started out from the gym, I was doing the Re Re Shuffle! So as we left on the next jag of running I held my head up, picked my feet up, and leaned in just a tad and GUESS WHAT? I felt much better and didn't fall as far behind. So if you hear me mumbling to myself on Wednesday night don't mind me I am just asking God to help me do the exercises correctly. :)

Time to switch gears on you all a bit... sorry I have a lot to say today, it's been a while and while I had planned my post that you see above last night,  I woke up and saw this wonderful video on Facebook and knew I needed to talk about it as well.

The above video was created by the amazing Rev Jay Bowman. At the end he states that "a great leader takes people not necessarily where they want to go but where they ought to be" in reference to The General Matt Costa, and it can not be more true. He is one GREAT leader,  who got me to where "I WANTED to be" 7 months ago when I ran and finished that first half marathon.

The day I was told where I WANTED to be was at the finish line of running my first half marathon

Thank you Sir,  for not giving up on me and still pushing me after all of these months to get me to where I "ought to be". Thank you for believing in me, for believing in all of your soldiers. I think I can speak for us all when I say.. We our honored to have you lead the way!

Here are a few of the things I think of when I stop and think about where I ought to be. 

I ought to be able to beat my 69 year old father in a 5k.. and I did! Oh I beat the 18 year old daughter too.
I ought to have friends who love me for me, and I do! I love them for the same reasons!
I ought to finish not one, but two half marathons... ok ok I OUGHT to finish many more and I will! 

Thank you Sir for changing my life in so many ways in the last 9 months, all starting on a very cold, windy, rainy day in March when you said.. "She doesn't know it yet but she is going to run it!" You started your "Ought to" with me before I ever showed up.

Thank you Rev for making such a beautiful amazing tribute to our fearless leader, that reminding me of all of the wonderful things I have gained and have to be thankful for this Christmas Season! I am incredibly blessed just to have all of you in my life.

Much Love to All My Bootcamp Family!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

New Attitude - New Journey - New Adventure!

I needed a little reminding of this!
Last night I realized that part of my issue is I am a bit depressed and sad because THE event is over, I called it Post Marathon Depression. Of course this also had to do with the fact I couldn't jump right back in the saddle and start training for my next event, and yes there is a next event, and a next, and a next! Add in a dash of little to no sleep since last Thursday night and you end up with one grumpy, ticked off, ready to spork your eyes out for breathing funny Re.

I finally got some sleep last night, had a weird dream about a half marathon that if you didn't make it to your mile markers in a certain amount of time you were shot on the spot (Matt Costa please don't get any ideas I can see us at Bootcamp now being shot by AirSoft guns LOL), but I still slept and I woke up feeling MUCH better about the entire situation. Yes it still hurts, yes I am walking like a zombie still (and peeking for Jason even though he claims he wouldn't rebar me), but the bottom line is I AM WALKING, I AM FEELING, AND I AM GETTING BETTER EACH DAY!

By getting better each day I am also getting faster each day, I may not be as fast as I was last week but I will get there quickly, last night I could even roll over in my sleep and not wake up thinking a Walker was nibbling on my leg, and today I got back up the stairs in less than 3 minutes, sounds like a little feat but trust me the other day I think it took me 15 and there may have been a few tears.

Speaking of getting faster, Coach Adam Swansen posted on Facebook yesterday the national average of finishing a half marathon that had been quoted in an email from atlinks.com, the title of the email was "Are you faster today than you were four years ago?" My answer to that question TODAY is no not really, but there is good reason for that, it is because on Sunday I WAS faster than I was four years ago, faster than a year ago, faster than 6 months ago! Not only am I faster than just a few short months ago, I am faster than the national finishing average of a half marathon which is 3:30:20. That totally works for me. My next goal in regards to a half marathon is come in under 2:30, if I had been able to run this one in same pace as my 8 miler a couple of months ago I could have pulled it of, but that didn't happen and I need to just move on from it, learn from it, and grow from it.

The decision has been made for me to lay off the running for awhile until my muscle gets better and is stronger, last night my beautiful Thing1 told me I have a habit of listening to what people tell me I should do and then go right ahead and do exactly what I want anyway (which 9 times out of 10 is the exact opposite of what 99% of the population of the USA would say do). This time, it's different and that is playing a huge part in why I am frustrated, this time I physically can't do the opposite, so I actually am going to take the time off. That doesn't mean I am going to be sitting on the couch eating bon bons it simply means that until next Monday I am concentrating on resting, icing and babying my leg until I can walk like a human again, and at that time I will hit the gym and work weights and modified classes until I feel like my muscle is strong enough for a mile run. Amanda and I came up with a plan yesterday evening so I don't feel so lost and out of sorts about what is to come. That had a huge impact on how I was feeling. Yes this is me saying I need a PLAN! (that noise you just heard was my mother fainting)

My ultimate goal is to be back to Bootcamp at the first of the year able to run and keep up with the pack and with much better form. Why am I mentioning form? Well because mine STINKS. The only thing I have going for me is a good foot fall, the rest of my body looks like a Telly Tubby when running and that is not good. As I laid in bed last night going over where I was now and where I am headed one thing popped in my head, WORK ON YOUR FORM. I physically can't move and twist and turn quickly right now but that does not mean I can not work on the technique of doing a sit up, a push up, a squat (that hurts even to mention it right now but I will get there), so when I start back to running instead of concentrating on how far I can get, it will be a concentration on form first and the distance will come.

I have found the silver lining in my storm cloud, with this time to work on form and strength come time to compete in the Spartan Race on March 23rd,  the Flying Pirate Half Marathon on April 14th followed by Country Music Half Marathon on April 27th I will be ready!

Back to Operation 163 LTC!
Much Love To All,

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Note: the original title of this blog was Aggravation after writing the whole thing the title changed.

Many of you who read my blog are also friends with me on Facebook and if you have hidden me from your time line I wouldn't be shocked or surprised. My status updates since Sunday have been a roller coaster of highs and lows and a couple of twists and turns.

The bottom line of it all is I am completely aggravated. I don't want to be hurt. I don't want to miss Bootcamp. I don't want to stop running for awhile. I have a LOT of things I don't want right now. I don't want to be that girl that couldn't hang and sat out a whole camp. I don't want to lose any of my fitness level that I have actually fought very hard for since February.

Injuries happen, I understand that, but they aren't supposed to happen to me. (I am kidding here) I have a difficult time deciphering the difference between hurt and sore, I always have and I probably always will. I do HEAR my body I just don't know what it is saying per say. Not being able to make it down the stairs using one of your legs should be a good sign that something is off kilter and it isn't just soreness, but instead of being OK with having to stay off of it, my brain is saying you are a wimp and you should be tougher than this and you are lazy and you haven't changed one bit.

I also have a terrible habit of feeling like my actions are letting others down. I guess that is where the "team" part of Bootcamp comes into play with me. I have always felt like you should pull your own weight when it comes to a team and if I am home sitting on my butt how exactly am I helping my Bootcamp family. How am I being the best I can be for my coaches when I am not even there? How is not being a part of the day to day activities of my team and Bootcamp family helping and inspiring anyone? These are things that go through my mind repeatedly. I try to talk myself down from the ledge of disappointing people but it is just in my nature to worry about these things. It is not a trait I am fond of and a lot of the time I do throw the persona out there that I really don't give a crap what anyone thinks but the truth is I do when it comes to people who "out rank" me in life, people like my Daddy, my boss, or my coaches.

So what's the bottom line of this, I need to accept a few things:
  • The fact that I am human and humans get hurt.
  • Yes I did walk on a 13.1 mile run on Sunday.
  • I showed up to run in a 13.1 mile run with an injury that was aggravated so bad I had major trouble getting in and out of the truck to even get there. 
  • My choice in running in the event on Sunday has probably put me out longer that I originally thought for. 
  •  The event is behind me I can't change it and make it what I wanted it to be and no amount of bitching over it is going to change that. 
  • That I NEED to stay off of this thing and let it heal. 
  • I am currently petrified to be away from Bootcamp and that is part of what has sparked this roller coaster of emotions. I deal with fear as well as I do injury and disappointing people.. in other words I DON'T!

HOWEVER, I also need to accept these other facts:

  •  I ran 11 miles of that 13.1 without stopping.
  • Even though I walked about a mile and a half at almost a 15 minute pace I still got a PR by a little over 6 minutes.
  • No one is disappointed in my performance except me.
  • At no point in the run Sunday was I ever out of breath or taxing my body except that one leg, so I know how much farther my fitness level is than it was in April. 
  • This isn't my last event there are many more in which I can show my true ability without injury.
  • I am pretty damn tough, and not the wimp my brain wants me to think I am. 
  • My Bootcamp family is NOT going anywhere, they will be right there when I am able to come back. 
  • I am not going to lose my fitness level because there are other things I can do until I can get back to running and Bootcamp. 
  • And last but not least this is NOT the end of the road in this journey and simply a speed bump. 
  • Update I thought of this after I posted: Not only did I COMPLETE the 13.1 half marathon, the day before that I completed a 5k and was only 30 second off a PR on that run. I keep forgetting I did that.
This is Re reporting to you live from the top of the speed bump, it's all down hill from here!
Much Love

Monday, November 12, 2012

"The miracle isn't that I finished..

It's that I had the courage to start" ~ John Bingham

My friend and fellow bootcamper Leslie posted this quote this morning and it was so fitting for this blog post. Might I also say that Leslie KILLED the half marathon!

Yesterday I ran in my second half marathon, while it did not go as planned the truth is nothing in life should really be planned, there are obstacles and bumps and bruises and pulled muscles that can get in way of things that are "planned". I originally had the idea that I would SMASH my time from the first half marathon and that I would do it by running every step. Neither of those things happened.

I had not trained properly, well I can't say that because I started out training properly, the bottome line is I did not train well for this half marathon as I have a slight injury, I had no idea a pulled groin muscle could hurt so terribly badly for so dang long. I stay off of it until it feels 100% do one thing like a 5k and the next morning I can't make it down the stairs. This has been going on for slightly over 3 weeks now.

Yesterday morning was one of the mornings that I could not in fact make it down or up the stairs using my right leg, and well I was walking like something off of the Walking Dead. I kept peeking around corners to make sure Jason wasn't standing there with a piece of rebar to show through my head. Thankfully he wasn't but I sure could have used some of his encouraging words yesterday morning. Truth be told when my daddy looked at me and said "And you think you are going to finish 13 miles.. yea right?" I got a little scared, ok ok a LOT scared. The only thing I knew to do was try so off I went to run in my second half marathon of the year.

Thing 3 Lisa, Thing 1 Ilona, Thing 2 me! 
I met the Bootcampers and hugged each one I could get my hands on, it's the hugs that make me feel better. We were not there long before it was time to take off. I heard in my head Jay saying "if you think you are starting off slow, go slower" I didn't have much choice to go slower my right leg just wasn't going to let me. *sigh* I kept on going and before I knew it I was at mile 1, then 2, then wow there is 3, it WHIZZED by! I thought back to my first half marathon and how incredibly far that first mile seemed, yesterday it seemed I was at mile 3 in NO time. We made a turn down by the sound and with the fog still hugging the water I was amazed at the beauty of where we lived (yes I did take time to notice what was around me :) ) I took a few minutes to chat with a gentleman who fell in beside me and decided to keep pace with me for a bit, it was a nice distraction but the truth is I am a solo runner I am not fond of anyone beside me for too long, either I am trying to keep up with them or fall back so they can stay by me, it is just not a challenge I want to fight while trying to finish my own run. It wasn't long I wished him well and pulled away.

Right around mile 5 I caught up with Todd White another bootcamper and we shared a few moments and then he had to pull away as I was the slower pacer. It was shortly after this I felt my body tiring and knew it was time to do take the Hammer Gel and wouldn't you know it, not a water station or trash pile in sight. I did hold on to my wrapper until I saw a small pile close to the end of the neighborhood, there was no point in my being rude with the trash.While running this mile I felt a poke on the shoulder and I turned around thinking it would be a bootcamper showing love but I was met with a stranger who immediately says.. "Oh I am sorry I thought you were someone else" The only thing I could say was "You mean there is someone else with blue hair running this thing??" She said "yup sure is.. " Wow.

I kept on trotting along at my slow pace just putting one foot in front of the other and what appears but some dude with a camera Yelling HEY BOOTCAMPER ( I don't know what else he said cause he knew who I was but I wasn't sure who he was cause he had something on his head that made me giggle but I was far enough away not to be able to see who it was) it wasn't long before I realized it was Chris Truz and the Brindley crew at the 6th mile! Chris fell in beside me for a little bit and just spoke to me and told me to keep going. Those few yards he fell in beside me got me through the next 3 miles to the bottom of the bridges.

I don't remember much about miles 6 through 9, I know I caught up with Doug Meekins a friend that I am so incredibly proud of and gave him a thumbs up, I think I caught back up with Todd around there too, not sure cause I don't remember seeing him again until the finish. I remember starting to see the top of Thing 1s head, which is not all that hard to do considering her height :) The only thing I kept thinking to myself was MAKE it to the bridge then you will be ok. I had a surprise waiting there, my Sisper, was there cheering us bootcampers on with the numbers proudly displayed and encouraging words.

It was then time to tackle the bridges, I did a body check and felt ok and it seemed then all systems were go. The first bridge really isn't much to be concerned with it is well just flat it is the second that is one of those looming up hill things after running about half a mile to it with it staring you in the face. The hill wasn't even that bad we do the monument all the time and this was no where near that incline but also at the same time it got REALLY REALLY HOT or at least it felt like it. I never gave up my trot on the way up that bridge or the way down. Ahead of me I could see Ilona and said I will make it to her and we will finish this thing together we will run it in. The minute I finally caught her was exactly at mile 11 and by the time I caught up with her I realized that my leg wasn't so ok anymore. It was numb and wobbly feeling like with every foot fall my hip wasn't doing what it was supposed to. I made the choice right then to walk a bit, knowing that I probably would not have it in me to run again as I knew how badly that was going to hurt.

Wouldn't you know it that was exactly when my Daddy and Deanna drove by me.. just my luck. It couldn't be helped I knew whatever was going on with my leg was on the verge of some damage that I didn't want to put me out for longer than I already will be. Ilona and I made a plan to walk mile 11 to 12 and we would run the rest of the way in. I felt ashamed and guilty for having to walk, but that is just me, that is how I roll, all I could think was I am going to have to tell my coaches. We made it to the next water station and who do we catch up with the wonderful Sweetpea. We all chatted a tiny bit and it was time for Ilona and I to run it in, I didn't make it far :( What I was afraid of happened, it hurt, everything hurt and I knew I wasn't running right because my left leg was starting to fell the pain of running out of my normal gait. I motioned for Ilona to push ahead and keep running and I would start back in a minute. I did, I pushed again and ran to a marker I had in my mind, and then I walked another bit, another TINY bit, and made the turn off of the main road towards the finish. I told myself I would NOT walk on that last bit of the run and I didn't. I was slow and ugly but I ran all the way in. There were so many cheering at the end that I can't possibly remember them all, but a few I saw as I came to the end were Vicki, Sandy, Bertie, Mike, Caitlyn, Erin.. there were so many more so please forgive me if I didn't call you by name. When you are surrounded by that much love on the final leg of a LONG run it is amazing all your thoughts of pain and hurting just vanish, so thank you my friends thank you.

As I went through the finishing chute I could see some of my bootcamping friends and what did I do zip zip right around them both, sorry Joan and Jessica, I didn't really mean to do that. but I had been running the last part of the race for one thing only.. a Jay Bowman hug! I told him last night it is probably a good thing that at that point I didn't have a jump left in me cause I would have Supermanned the poor man. I don't even know what was said, I just remember him putting my medal around my neck and hugging me and me saying.. I am so sorry I had to walk. The most important thing for me at that moment wasn't that I finished or that it was over, it was to own up to what I had to do to get to the finish. I believe I hugged Joan and Jessica I am not even sure it was all a blur.

I met up with Ilona and we got some juice and I saw Amanda and Randolph waiting, I have to say Amanda had a rather worried look on her face until she finally spotted me. Another round of hugs and congrats from her, Randolph, Amy, Terry and Tommy. I caught sight of the General Matt Costa and got yet another hug and again fessed up to my walking. I will say neither Coach was upset with me at all it seemed, apparently I was the only one mad at me.  I ended up having to call my Daddy and Deanna to figure out where they were, turns out they got to the finish line about 5 minutes after I went through. That was kind of a sad moment but these things happen.

As I was standing around chit chatting with my friends and who should show up to give me more love and hugs but Joanne, Misty, and Anissa it was so nice to see them all and know they were cheering me on. I received so many well wishes and virtual cheers from many of the night camp ladies it was very encouraging and meant so much to me. I love you all. I also look forward to running the Flying Pirate half with all of you so get ready!

After more hugs from the people I could get my hands on Christina, Doug, Todd.. it was time to head out. On my way to the truck I got to give bootcamp love to Thing 3 Lisa and see and toot at many of the marathoners on the way home Lindsey, Jessie, Laura, Franco, Dave and Adam. The dedication it took for them to run the full marathon was just nothing except amazing. One of these days I hope to join the ranks of having that much dedication and spirit. 

Last night I celebrated finishing the half marathon with my friends Janice, Lauren, Susan, Amanda, Randolph and Amy. What a wonderful way to end a wonderful day!

Now for a round of Thank You's. Thank you to my wonderful Coaches at Outer Banks Bootcamps especially Matt, Jay and Adam for your belief in me, and the encouragement of my bootcamp family for being there and experiencing this journey together. To my friends the Things, Ilona and Lisa for just being you, Amanda for being my gym partner, trainer and friend. To my daddy, Deanna, Lauren, Susan and Janice who traveled to be here this weekend to be with me and to participate in this run in my community. To my Sisper who stood out there cheering and waiting on me to run by and for encouraging me to take care of myself even if I don't listen well.  To the night camp girls, each of you have this in you too ya know and by spring I hope we are all out there running in YOUR first half marathon xoxo! To all of you that have read the blog, kept up with my journey on facebook and sent words of encouragement it is truly amazing.  And last but not least, thanks Edgie for saying that I wouldn't make it past mile 2, I had to prove you wrong so I made it to 11. I could NOT have done with this without any of you.

Many congratulations to my friends, bootcampers and fellow runners on all the completions and PR's that you had this weekend.  You all rocked this thing!

I know the next question many of you have is what next, today.. NOTHING! After that,  my plan at the moment (check back with me after Thursday) is to sit out this upcoming bootcamp and let this muscle heal completely, while taking classes at the gym starting in a week or so and running on my own to hopeful get back to where I want to be with my time. I have two more races on the books this year which will put me at 94.6 miles for since March, and I pulled a PR on a half marathon even thought I haven injury and had to walk about a mile and a half. I can live with that.

I may have only taken off 4 minutes from the last half but I have lost a lot of me!

Much Love

Monday, October 22, 2012

Boo Boo's Happen

As I sit here and reflect back on my childhood, I remember something interesting. someone in my family was just about always hurt. It may have been my dad, or a cousin, or a cousins boyfriend, husband, or wife, never a mom, but you get the picture. One of them was always limping around on crutches, in a cast, or sling.

They were not a clumsy group of people, nor were their jobs all that dangerous and damaging to their bodies. My family played hard, they were a family of athletes who left all they had out on a ball field. I also remember the frustration of the injured when they didn't get to play, while they were warming the bench beside me (score keeper extraordinaire here for the men's softball league).
I couldn't find a newer one.. I know I have then just not sure where. Yes they look a bit rough here.

I am feeling the sting of that frustration today as I sit here and draft up this blog post. I have also learned a valuable lesson. "Learn the difference between injured and sore". A week ago Saturday I had a little stumble on a trail run, nothing that I thought was too bad, just a off balance little stumble, catch yourself and run on. I had a PR that day even so I mean really how bad could it have been.. right? Wrong. I laced up my shoes the next morning and ran a 10 miler.. no biggie right? Wrong. I do recall on that run telling a fellow bootcamper that I hurt differently it seemed each time I ran and in a different spot (so even my head was trying to tell me then something wasn't right) but because of the phrasing of my statement, it was deduced that it was nothing more than my brain telling me to stop, so I carried on. Sunday night was up half the night because if felt like I had a toothache in my leg. By Monday I figured out my hip was really sore.. but just sore because of my blisters that were burning on Sunday's run so I over compensated and made my hip sore.. another brilliant conclusion by Re! Wrong. Tuesday I went to bootcamp and was in enough pain that I just couldn't run very long at all.. again pain because my gait was off.. WRONG. Wednesday back to bootcamp in the evening pushed through that without making too much of a spectacle of myself and I don't think anyone figured out that, well, I wanted to cry. (guess they know now) I spoke to one of the coaches after that and just had said I don't think I am going to do track in the morning. His response was "Oh ok.. I understand, So I will see you in the morning right?" Or something really close and he DID see me in the morning because I am stubborn and hardheaded and maybe a tiny bit stupid. I actually did ok at track day and yes it hurt, badly, but as long as I kept going I wasn't wanting to cut it off, it was when I stopped and had to start again that I was wishing I had one of Jay Bowman's chain saws to just cut out whatever it was that was hurting so bad in there. Still even after that morning I was blaming everything on an out of place gait. WRONG WRONG WRONG. When I got home on Thursday work was slammed and I didn't get a chance to move around all that much I was chained to my phone, so by the time the day was over I was pretty darn stiff. Feeling a lot like I was breaking myself out of rigor mortise I got myself together and went to the grocery store as I was headed on a trip the following day. It was in the grocery store that I realized that something was way more wrong than being sore. (that was the longest paragraph in this blog's history by the way)

So you wanna know how I finally came to the conclusion there was a bit more wrong? The only way I could make it around the store was to actually hold my hand directly on where my groin muscle is and push .. hard. Now for those of you that know where your groin muscle is let me tell you that is quite a bit embarrassing.  I mean I could not even use the excuse I was "adjusting my marbles".. I AM A GIRL I DON'T HAVE THOSE.  So finally I decided Googling needed to be done cause I really couldn't wander around doing what appeared to be .. well it doesn't need to be discussed what it appeared I was doing. Google search "pain around inner thigh after running"... returned result.. groin muscle blah blah blah.. REsponse.. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

So there ya have it, not just sore, pulled groin muscle and let me just tell you if you have never pulled this little piece of work, DON'T.  Poor Kris and Brian wanted to throw me out of the house I am sure due to every time I had to go up and down the stairs it started with OUCH, getting out of the truck, OUCH, turning to put my feet in the truck, OUCH. I think you see how aggravating this was for them. I am sorry guys, I love you both.

The only thing you can do for a pulled muscle is, well, nothing. Rest. And I rest just about as well as I know the difference between injured and sore, I DON'T. I am freaked out, disappointed, annoyed, and aggravated with myself, why did this happen when it did, right in the middle of training for the half, an two weeks before a 10K that I was looking forward to getting a PR on, however, remember when I said last week that there is good in everything? It's true. My groin muscle probably saved Brian from having a full fledged heart attack because I was enjoying dangling a bit close to the edge of High Rock, and by bit close I mean full on dangling over it. Just imagine where I would have ended up if I wasn't wobbling around like a webble wobble.  And the other thing, I can now put myself right smack dab in the middle of my family of athletes. I got my first injury guys (with more to come I am sure) put a spot on the family bench for my hiney!
Every now and then I'm right up on the edge
Dangling my toes out over the ledge
I just thank God you're here

It's what happens sometimes when you lay it all on the line, when you are out there and all you can think about is the goal, sometimes we push just a little too far, but I truly believe that part of being an athlete is learning exactly where that line is. Also it is, having that longing to be out there working hard  and missing the training when you just can't.  A year ago if someone had told me to take it easy and rest for 7 days I would have been all over that and refusing to move from the sofa. Today... I am a bit different. I am sad I am going to miss a week of training and being with my bootcamp family, I am disappointed I won't be with the Blackhawks until at least Wednesday, if then, I am angry that I won't be running in the 10K on Saturday but instead walking, but I am grateful, this is only a pulled muscle, nothing requiring anything but a bit of a rest and then I will be right back out there pushing it to the line. Why? Because God gave me a gift and I am going to use it.. it's called Life, and sometimes boo boo's  happen.

Much Love,

Friday, October 19, 2012

Operation LTC 163

So I have had a couple of people ask what exactly Operation LTC 163 is, my response is the same now as it was then, you know how the CIA and DoD and FBI have names like Operation Tango or Operation Orange Yellow Bellied Scared Baboon? That is sort of like Operation LTC 163, even if I told you what exactly it was it still wouldn't make much sense to you so I will be like the CIA and keep my mouth shut.

Either way it is an Operation of healthy choices and positivity with me as it's sole member and leader. Over the last week or so I have posted a couple of status's on facebook that are worthy enough of repeating here (at least as the sole member and leader I think they are so bare with me ok)

In life allow others to inspire and encourage you along your journey, do not long to be those people. We have all faced our own battles and have our own scars, no one is any more perfect at being you than you are, and ultimately at some point in time most of those other people will end up letting you down because you have placed them on such a high pedestal. Just be you, one step at a time, and enjoy your own journey. ~Operation LTC 163
Whenever you feel like you might be on the outside looking in, look at the bright, side you have plenty of room to dance around and just be you! Operation LTC 163
 Hope everyone had a wonderful love filled day! Through our struggles and triumphs we grow and become more of the person we long to be. I am very thankful I have the freedom and health to enjoy everything this crazy thing called life throws at me. Even a bummed out hip can be a blessing, I never would have seen that beautiful shooting star this morning if I hadn't had to walk or had my friend tell me to use the time to enjoy what was around me. If someone hadn't said a couple of words i took the wrong way i may have missed the chance to clear the air with a friend. Look for the good in all things! Operation LTC 163
The purpose Operation LTC 163 is to help me keep my eye on the goal and to remember the positive things in my life. The things that I have the ability to do and change, that this morning and every morning in the past I have woken up, under a roof, with food in the fridge, and with my health. Not everyone in my life can say those things. 

I have learned so many wonderful things in the past year, all of which I wish I could share with you, but the most important thing I have learned and it applies to everything in life is this. 
"Don't give up... Don't EVER give up" ~ Jimmy V
This weekend I challenge you to look at negative situations with a new spirit, remember there are reasons for all, and that you have the ability and choice to change how you view it. 
Oh PS: this girl did TEN one arms push ups (yes they looked a bit sissy baby but I did them with my left arm) AND I am happily putting my hiney in size 12 jeans.

Much Love. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I finally found myself on a boat!

Considering 99% of my posts lately have been about Outer Banks Bootcamps or some run or another, I was seriously considering changing the name of this blog again but then figured why not just incorporate the other things I do in my life back in here cause they are interesting too!

 Aren't these two little guys just the sweetest???

Not my shoes!
You got her PeeWee!
We are going that way.. then this way.. then that way!

Just a few of my favorite people.

Even Banx got in on the fun.

We weren't the only Mathews Crew.

This past weekend I did go to Mathews as you know from previous posts but what you don't know is I made a little detour on my way home and finally after all summer of not being on one, I found myself ON A BOAT! Not just any old boat I was a proud passenger, race crew, team mate (something or another) on the Jordan Lynn. When you board the Jordan Lynn you are sure to find yourself two things, a good time and surrounded by great people!

We were at the Poquoson Boat Races at Messick Point and spent most of the time just hanging out in the river and enjoying the wonderful weather and making some silly memories that none of us will forget anytime soon. Thank you Jimmy John for once again getting us all together and sharing your boat with us.

If I die suddenly posting this may be why.
It's funny when you think about it, my family history on my daddy's side is boats, water, fish, boats, water, fish, boats, and water. I think it is something that gets in your blood by birth, and can in fact skip a generation or two, my daddy for example has NO desire to be on a boat or in the water, he will however eat any fish you may have. I, on the other hand, would really rather be no where else, if I could be on a boat or close to the water you are going to find me no where else. There is something so calming about the sound of a diesel engine, unless of course you happen to be racing and then well it is just exciting.

I got word this weekend that my Great Grandfathers boat the Ellen Marie has once again sold, I unfortunately have not won the lottery yet and it was not me that bought her even though I would have liked nothing more. I also heard that she is more than likely headed up north .. it breaks my heart to think about it so I am just going to say that I am glad she has a new home and hopefully the new owners will find many hours of enjoyment on her.

Good times!
I am going to close with a final thought today, through out your life you change, you are met with new opportunities and challenges, face them all with pride and dignity, but never let something new completely erase who you are. 

Happy Wednesday!
Much Love

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Running for a Reason

On your Mark.
I know some of you that know me from here on our little sandbar were probably wondering why I traveled 3 hours to run a 5K run that I could have run anywhere, heck I think there was one here on the Outer Banks Saturday. The reason for running Saturday's Wesley Ashberry Twilight 5K wasn't about the what, it was about the why.
Daddy, Me and Deanna

This particular run was in support of the Denbigh House, which is an innovative vocational rehabilitation program for individuals with brain injury who live on the Virginia Peninsula. The program seeks to help survivors of brain injury achieve greater levels of independence and productivity. If you would like to read more about them and their history you can find it here.
My best friend Mark, Wes and Sandra

Mark, Julie, Wes
Daddy, Julie, Me, Ed, and Deanna (I need a new sweatshirt.. it makes me look huge and I am not any longer)
You know how you go out and run a race for say the Food Pantry, but yet your family has never been hungry, you can say you did a good thing for a good cause, but it isn't quite .. it isn't quite.. I am not even sure of the words I am looking for, as meaningful maybe?  I can't say that about this particular run.
Promise and Shannon, my girl has some lungs on her! She's running this thing next year.

Steve.. yea he beat me darn it, he met his goal though. 
Our family, oddly enough, has been no stranger to automotive tragedies, sitting back looking at our extended family and the history it seems we have more than most, maybe it is because we are such a large family or maybe because we are actually close to even our second, third, and twentieth cousin six times removed. On October 18th in 1997 at 10:15 pm our family came incredibly close to losing my second cousin (or maybe it is First Cousin Once Removed... I cant keep all that straight), Wesley, he was involved in an accident which sent him to the hospital in Richmond to fight for his life. I remember the first time seeing Wes after the accident, there aren't words for me even to put here to describe what exactly I felt and thought at that moment, at the time I was living in North Carolina so it was days later that I saw him, I don't even want to think of the night of.  We all prayed, prayed, and prayed some more that he would pull through, that our Wes wasn't going to leave us. God answered our prayers and Wesley is still a HUGE part of our family today. Wesley has a personality that is larger than life, always has and always will, to know him is to love him and I am so grateful to have him in my life.

Angie and Sandra
Carrie and Justice
When all was said and done, Wesley had a brain injury that affected his speech and mobility, this is where the Denbigh House comes in. The way I look at it is this, if we as a family can potentially help just one more brain injury patient through our running and volunteering at this race then we have succeeded. There was no other place I would have rather been on this Earth on Saturday than with my family and friends giving it all we had for Wesley and the Denbigh House, and quite honestly, finishing the race, being there with Ed, Mark, my Daddy,  the rest of my family and friends, coming in second in my age bracket, or getting a Personal Record was no where near close to the best part of the evening, hearing Wesley over the crowd when the announcer asked if anyone was there for Lynn's restaurant holler "Mama!" was.

Jill, Aidan, JJ, and Isabella
Deanna, Daddy and Me coming into the finish
TT, JJ, and Wes, I can't tell each of you how much I love and admire you all, thank you for being such a inspiring part of my life.
Wes and Promise

If you have a chance in your life to give back to a cause or charity that you truly believe in or have vested interest in I suggest you take it, the feeling is amazing. Me, I will be right back in Virginia running the 4th annual Wesley Ashberry Twilight 5k in May with my friends and family, I mean after all I need to beat the Doc! :)

Much love to you all,

 Photos of the day by Theresa Ashberry, posting with permission.

Monday, October 1, 2012

I came in first!

You heard me, but just in case you didn't I will repeat, I CAME IN FIRST!

Here is a photo of the medal I got for coming in FIRST.

Yes I did in fact pass Math in school, I know the difference in first and second,  and I know what I am talking about.

On Saturday I had the great pleasure of running in the 3rd Annual Wesley Ashberry Twilight 5k for the benefit of the Denbeigh House which supports brain injuries. As I stood there Saturday waiting to start I all of a sudden had a massive case of the nerves, something that hasn't happened to me for a 5k in a while now. I mean seriously, for Pete's sake, I just ran 10 miles last week and I am worried about this measly 3 miles on a relatively cool day?? Why yes, yes I was! It dawned on me at that exact moment, that I was running my first race with my family and friends actually present and watching or participating, add in one boyfriend who thinks I am going to fall over dead every time I run anywhere and well.. it was a nerve wracking thought. I had the thoughts of, what if they all beat me, what if I fall down, what if I lose my pants 100 yards in, what if I die? None of those things happen.... ok FINE one of those things actually did happen but I don't think we need to discuss which one.

The point is they were all silly thoughts, and in the end I still finished and I came in first. Yes I am still maintaining I came in first because I did. I beat the only person out there I was out there to beat, myself. My fastest 5k to date was run on my birthday with a time of 33:20, Saturday night I finished with a time of 32:32, even better yet I beat my time in this same race last year by 12 minutes, that is 4 minutes a mile shaved of. If that doesn't make me a winner I don't know what does.

There was one lady that came in before me in my age bracket, she was a doctor, my Daddy's doctor to be exact, and I never did catch her name but coming out of the start, due to one of the things above I said I was worried about, she managed to pass me. (How many commas is one allowed in a sentence?) As I ran along down the road towards the mile marker Doc slowed down and started walking, there it was, my chance to regain the lead in my bracket. I knew it would have been the lead because everyone else in front of us were either men or MUCH younger, all I had to do was maintain the pace I was at and I had her. It was that exact moment something happened that I never anticipated, I did what my brain initially said and held my pace but out of my mouth came the words "Come on Doc! Don't give in now, you got this!" WAIT A MINUTE HERE, MY OWN BIG MOUTH HAS BETRAYED ME!!! I thought "oh don't worry about it, if she is walking already she will surely walk again", and I was correct. What I wasn't correct about was the not worrying about it part. Each time Doc slowed down the betrayal happened again and again words of encouragement flew out faster than my feet could run to catch up to her, we held the same distance apart pretty much the whole race.  As we came in to the finish I did my normal "Jay Bowman/ Adam Swansen hollered at me to sprint so I am going to sprint" sprint, yes I do hear them in my head even when they are not there, and I finished ten seconds after the Doc. Some part of me figured I could have beaten her in that last stretch if I had started a bit sooner or if I had waited a second or two with words of encouragement for her along the path, but that didn't seem to matter much to me. I was happy with my second place (first loser, as Daddy says) medal and even happier with my FIRST place against myself, and who knows maybe Doc went home and said for the first time in a really long time that she ran the whole 5k because of some crazy loon behind her screaming at her to RUN!

I am not sure what exactly the point of this is, but it is what happened and I feel good about it, being an encourager is a pretty neat little role. Maybe the point is a play on my friends Jimmy John's boat racing policy which is "Doesn't matter what place we come in as long as we look good doing it" maybe my run policy needs to be "Doesn't matter what place I come in as long as I feel good about it".   After I went through the finish line I turned right around (after catching my breath for a second) and headed back out to fetch my Daddy and daughter, they weren't all that far behind but running back in with them was pretty darn cool too.

This is one of those posts that I could keep writing about for hours but will refrain from doing so to ensure you don't get to incredibly bored with me, but before I close, I want to say a HUGE thank you to Mark, Julie and Ed who all waited at the finish line for me,  Shannon who I have to say screamed the loudest when I got my medal, Steve who didn't beat me as bad I think he could have. And to Theresa Ashberry I LOVE your spirit, you are an incredibly inspiration to me, and don't you forget it! Love each one of you!

Much Love

Friday, September 28, 2012

I went PINK, what are you going to do?

So it is no secret that pink is my favorite color, throw in a bit of black and well you would have one happy girl on your hands, however, I am sure that most people thought I was over the unnatural hair color hair coloring. Not so much. Pink is a really cool hair color too and apparently according to quite a few people I can really pull it off and it makes my eyes look even bluer if that is possible.  (PS there are some people, ok one person, who doesn't agree at all and if he had his way it would still be blond, poor guy had no idea what he was in for when he met me)

I do have another reason other than to be shocking to have my hair pink. Two weeks ago tomorrow I ran in the All Out Pink 8 mile race in Manteo. It was the longest I had run since the half marathon in April and part of me was a bit scared I couldn't make it quite that far anymore, I did, and on top of that I ended up with a longer distance run PR. I made a decision when I signed up for this race that I wanted to do something a little more, something that showed my friends I supported them, so I decided on the pink hair. Sure I could have gone with the spray on wash out color, I didn't, sure I could have gone with a wig, I didn't, neither of those options to me showed the commitment I wanted them to know I had towards them and their journey. 

I helped Matt with the race packet pick up the day before the race and I  had one man who came in say to me "I HOPE that is a wig!"  I said "no Sir it is my hair" he never asked me WHY it was pink just looked at me with a funny old man look that kinda said he didn't respect me very much anymore. The very next day I saw him walking with his wife and I made a point to speak to him and this is exactly what I said. "Good morning Sir, my hair is still my hair, it is not a wig, it is not wash out hair color, it is permanent." Again I was met with "the look" this time with his wife standing close by watching the exchange. The wife said, "You colored your hair for this race" I started explaining to the couple yes I had colored my hair for the race but that was not the only for the day but for the month of October because it was breast cancer awareness month, and just a few short weeks ago I found out that my SIXTH friend in two years had been diagnosed and the way I looked at it is if they could walk around, sick, feeling badly, having surgeries, and missing their hair, I sure as heck could walk around with insanely pink hair for a few weeks just to show my support to the cause! It was quite funny but at some time in relaying that little story the man stopped giving me "the look",  it was one of those don't judge a book by it's cover moments.

With Monday bringing in October, and what I can only hope to be a great fall season for all my friends and family, I ask you to look inside yourself and think of what you can do to maybe help or to bring me awareness to this sucky disease that has affected way too many wonderful women. Me I will be rocking my pink hair!

PS a couple of side notes.
  • My Daddy knows my hair is pink, he actually thought it was kinda cool and said to tell anyone who had an issue with it that they just wished they had the balls (ok he probably said nerve but balls just makes the story funnier) to do it and they were jealous or that my other idea was to shave it bald.
  • My mother also knows, her response was GOOD GRIEF. (is anyone here shocked) Sorry mama but that is the truth
  • I was asked to color it Green for Saturday's run, it isn't happening, I am not particularly fond of green and I am MORE THAN GRATEFUL that Breast Cancer Awareness color is NOT ORANGE.
  • I also ended up with pink contacts for the race, and they weren't planned but they were really cool! 
  • Thank you to those that donated to the cause as I asked in an earlier post, I didn't get to $200 but I ran the 8 miles anyway! 
Much Love to you all, but especially to my SIX.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Redefining Last



  1. The last person or thing; the one occurring, mentioned, or acting after all others.
Yup that is what the dictionary says, that is not what I say. There were times today while running with my new Outer Banks Bootcamp Team, The Flame, I was, by this definition, last but that is not how it felt. What it felt like was I was out there doing it and I may be behind the rest of the group, however,  I was still way ahead of those that have made the choice to not try.

I am by no means what anyone would call a fast runner, I don't pick up my feet far enough, I don't lean forward enough, I don't breath quite right... YET! I am a work in progress, I will and can get there I just wasn't there today and I am ok with that, because I am working towards those goals. I have heard over the past few weeks a number of people stating they were very angry at themselves for being "last" and most of them weren't even truly last, they just felt that way because they weren't the first person in line. They stated things such as, "I am mad because I used to be better than this", "I promised myself I wouldn't be last", "I will never be in the front", all things I have said to myself at one point or another, and hearing them say it puts a whole new twist on things for me personally.   I encourage them by saying exactly what I said above, you aren't last, last is home sitting on the couch eating a bag of chips, that my friends is LAST.  Since I have been given the opportunity to be encourager and supporter I have at many times said things to others that within the last year were said to me, but had a hard time believing, things like, "It gets better", "You will get there", "You aren't going to die!" Guess what folks, I have not died yet, even if there is a certain someone out there that worries each time I go on a run I am going to do just that. 

Today I embarked on the newest adventure of this journey, training for the half marathon coming up in November, and while there is no doubt after running 10 slow miles last Wednesday night that I could finish a 13 miler today, it would not be at my best performance. I have a ways to go and I have my heart and soul, in combination with a great team and coaches to get me there! I am excited and hope to remain that way through the next 7 weeks leading up to the event and given the group I am with I am sure the spirits will remain high!

Part of our training today was a timed mile, I do not recall ever in my life running a timed mile (probably in grade school and I don't remember most of high school so forget grade school), the only thing I have to compare this to is my best 5k mile split and that was 10:44 on my birthday. Today I ran that mile in 9:37 so guess what peeps, I wasn't LAST I was flipping first cause I beat and surpassed by a considerable amount the only person I am in a race with. Myself.

So the next time you are out there running, or walking, or biking, or swimming and you are having that LAST feeling, fight THE FLAME and remind yourself if you are out there, giving it your all, YOU WILL NEVER BE LAST!

Much Love

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Who knew something so small could change my life so big...

A hummingbird.

Well lots of hummingbirds, almost 20 of them to be exact, and they aren't really all that small and they are a bit stinky but they are the sweetest darn hummingbirds you ever will meet.

The hummingbirds I speak of don't have wings that you can see, but I have seen them soar to heights they never thought imaginable.

Oddly they do have wings in this photo
I have had the immense pleasure of assisting Coach Matt Costa and Bootcamp Bob with the Outer Banks Bootcamp Night Camp, Team Hummingbird for the last five weeks. In that time I have watched this group of amazing people grow stronger both physically and mentally. Just tonight as we were headed up the last hill of Jockey's Ridge, after putting in 3 good hard miles up and down and all around,  I ran beside one camper who was making her way up the hill and I could hear her repeating over and over "I can do this, I am doing this, I can do this, I am doing this". I know this probably doesn't mean that much just reading this but just a few short weeks ago I was running by this same lady and she was repeating over and over "I can't do this, I can't do this". That my friends is AMAZING PROGRESS!

Our time together as the Hummingbirds is quickly drawing to a close and next Wednesday as the sun sets over the Outer Banks we will meet one final time for graduation. I look forward to being there as so many of them receive their black bands to wear with the pride of a job well done. My hope for this team is that they continue this journey on with the next Night Camp that starts the following Monday evening with Coach Jay Bowman. The first step has been made, and as they say, that is the one that is the hardest and I know in my heart and soul that this group of individuals has what it takes to carry on and follow their dreams to meet their goals.

I can't express to each of them enough how incredibly proud I am of the work I have seen them put in, I have seen blood (ok that was mine where sand spurs got stuck in my leg, how that happens I do not know, considering I was wearing shorts!), sweat (please see above where I mentioned stinky) and a few tears (of joy and pain). I do have something else I would like this team to know, I have heard over and over how much I have inspired and encouraged them from different members, the truth of the matter is I feel that they have given me much more than I could ever give them. They have given me a chance to give back, a chance to share my experiences and stories of my journey and have it mean something other than just meeting my own personal goals, they all have given me a gift that is truly priceless and I love each of them for it. We have two more nights together as a team and I am looking forward to sharing those last moments with them making memories that no one can ever take away. 

I could go on and on about this team and their commitment, from the members that showed up ill and continued to push through, those with shin splints so bad they could hardly move but still continued, to those that had medical procedures and didn't give up, those that had incredibly physical manual labor jobs that came and never quit, but I will close instead with this finally comment.


Monday, August 13, 2012

“Get Pumped” for the All Out Pink 8 mile Bridge Run and 5k

Good Morning my beautiful friends and family!

As you can see from the title I have yet another run coming up, this one is for in support of breast cancer. This is a run near and dear to my heart as I have watched and supported one of my best friends deal with this not once but twice, stood by in silent horror as another girlfriend battled it shortly after (yes I was a wimp and couldn't deal with it)  and countless others that battle it each day.

I am not one to ask for hand outs or contributions for things but this time, well sorry but I am.

I am currently signed up to run the 5k but if I can raise $200 dollars between now and August 29th I will ask to be changed over the to the 8 mile run. 100% of event proceeds stay local to the OBX to provide mammograms to women and men without access to health care. 

Even if all you can give is $5 all of it adds up quickly and can mean a life saving test to someone who is in need.  If you are in text, call, email, smoke signal,  comment, carrier seagull me,  and I will send you my mailing address.

Come on you guys you know you want to see me run 8 miles! 

Much Love to you all!