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.