I Did It – 13.1!

I vividly remember when I started bootcamp last October and how I felt walking into KnuckleUp gym.  What the hell was I doing here?  I was terrified, but that morning I woke up knowing I had to make a change in my life or my life was going to be spent in poor health and ongoing health related problems due to obesity. 

I’m good at faking it, so I walked into the gym and asked for Matt even though I truly wanted to vomit at this moment!  I didn’t get that morning how much bootcamp would impact me and change me but it has and for the better.  

The moment we headed out for that first run my brain was in shock!  I was gasping for air, the nausea in my stomach and the pain everywhere.  Back to what the hell had I just gotten myself into?  Oh well, I had to keep up and that is what I have done this past year.  

Me with Christine and Katie after my first bootcamp graduation

I have had my up’s and downs – my shin splints sidelined me, my fear sidelined me, my back took me out for two months, then my ankle took me out for another two months and just when I was ready to get back in the game my high blood pressure forced me to sit out another two weeks.

The day I headed back to camp after being gone for over 2 ½ months I told Matt I wanted to join the beginner group because I was coming back from an injury and I wanted to work my way back into bootcamp.  Well, on the first day Matt threw down a challenge for everyone to step out of their comfort zone and to take on a race such as the ½ marathon. 

I was on such a high to finally be back and I headed out that morning pissed.  I took off muttering “doesn’t he know not everyone was built to run 13 miles”, heck I don’t even like running, and we aren’t even going to talk about 26.2!” You can ask my friend Jeanne, I vented most of the run. 

Then a funny thing happened, I started processing all that was said that morning and it hit me.  Why Not?  Its 13.1 miles and it is a great challenge to set for myself.  Granted, I had been back at bootcamp one day but I can conquer this.  So I posted something on my facebook wall and the responses came fast and positive.  By the end of the day I had decided to take the plunge, and set the 7 week goal of training for the half. 

For me, I did feel like I was going back to the beginning.  I had to get my breathing back, I had to find my pace, and I now had an ankle that didn’t always behave on top of the other issues that I tuck to the back of my head when training.   The beginning of the summer, I couldn’t even run a mile!

In the course of my training I had my doubts, I had my fears and then I had moments where I realized that I was on course to succeed.  I was tired all the time in the beginning because all I felt I did was eat, sleep, train and go to work.  On top of that I volunteered on Friday’s to help with Go Far and coach the kids. 

My life has never been this focused on me and I felt guilty.  I was focusing on me and as a mother and a wife, I haven’t always done that.  I am thankful that my husband was on board and in full support of me training and didn’t complain over my early mornings and early bedtimes.  I have been married for 15 years, and I did feel selfish with my time but it meant the world to me to focus on this goal.  Without his help I would not have achieved this goal. 

I also had friends that supported me in several different ways, from facebook support to emails, phone calls, hugs, advice and even friends that took time to train with me for my long runs and also give me extra encouragement.  I am so thankful for the friends I have made in the Outer Banks and I couldn’t have done it without your friendship, Jeanne, Ilona, Theresa and Re and to all my other friends that sent me encouragement.  Thank you!

The week of the race I was a basket case, I cried at everything and was so sensitive to everyone.  I had a nice conversation with my friend Joan who said the most meaningful words to me and they hit homeWe have trained as a team and grown as a team, that day, we are solitary.”  Those words were true during the ½ marathon.

The night before the race I had my husband write my 13 reason’s on my arms for me to focus on at each mile. 

They Were:

1.     For My Health

2.     Strength

3.     Believe

4.     My Family

5.     My Children

6.     Because I Can

7.     Autism

8.     For Life

9.     Cancer Sucks

10.  Charlie

11.  Work thru the Pain

12.  Mike

13.  Me

At each mile I took a moment to focus on my reasons.  During the race some of these would become my mantra and others would just be a moment of reflection. 

The morning of the race I felt great.  I was up at 3:45 and ready to go.  I spent some time applying KT Tape to my back as well as my hip that was strained earlier in the week and of course my ankle.  I chuckled to myself because I felt like I was all ducked taped up and ready to go!

Ilona picked me up a little before 6:00 and we headed to the race.  It felt like the morning flew by and before I knew it we were lining up.  I was so excited that my friend Jeanne came to see me off with a hug and some pictures as well as my friend Mike who was starting in a different corral found me to give me a hug.  I was able to start with quite a few members of my bootcamp family and that made my morning. 

Three Things (Ilona, Re and Me)
The 1/2 Begins
All smiles at mile 6 with my pick me up from my Brindley Beach Family

I felt great for the first 8 miles, when I wasn’t focusing on the reasons I was able to enjoy the people around me and the beauty of the Outer Banks.  I loved that I saw my work family at mile 6!  I enjoyed the ½ marathon.  I loved how much fun the people were having during the run, how much fun the stations were and for the most part I was able to block the pain until right before the bridge. 

When I hit the bridge I had to face my back and butt going through one large cramp after the other.  I tried to walk it off and keep a good walking pace, but I was getting smoked by everyone on the bridge, even a grandma dressed up as a pirate!   I had a great pace going until this moment and this was my wall. 


I worked through the wall, made it off the bridge and spent the rest of the race in my marathon shuffle.  When I hit the Manteo line I took a moment to acknowledge that I just arrived from Nags Head to Manteo on foot! 

Heading into the final stretch of the race, I knew I was going to finish even if it felt the end was never going to arrive.  When I rounded the last corner the first person I saw was Re, then I saw a fellow bootcamper Vicky and then I saw my family.  I was so happy to see my children and husband holding posters for me!  What an incredible feeling to know they waited all morning for me and they were so happy and proud.

Bootcamp Poster – Made by my daughter Caitlin
Ohana means Family, and Family means nobody gets left behind.. or forgotten
Sign My Kids Made

Heading into the finish line my eyes were on my coach, knowing that I had completed what I intended to do.  I finished 13.1 miles and I ran most of the way.  This past Memorial Day I couldn’t even run a mile without stopping for a breather. 

Knowing that Jay was there to give me my medal and a hug meant the world, then to receive two more hugs from my friends Joan and Jessica made for the perfect finish to my race.

I wasn’t the fastest, but for me I took on a challenge and finished what I started.  I am thankful to my coaches and the leaders of Outer Banks Bootcamps along with my family and friends.  This past year has made me a better person, and a much healthier person.  I can’t wait to see what 2013 has in store for me, but I know for a fact another ½ marathon will be in my future and I will “Own It” in my way on my journey. 


I Will Finish

I haven’t written since I have started training for the ½ marathon.   I have been taking time to wrap my mind around 13.1 miles.  I headed back to bootcamp after over 2 months out for my ankle and was going to take it slow, so I surprised myself when I set this goal.  Let’s understand I am the person that was fine with running 5k’s and had no desire to run further.  That changed when I took the challenge to step outside my comfort zone.

This is the first time in my adult life that I have focused on training and have incorporated it into my daily life.  It is a bit overwhelming, but at the same time it feels good to have a plan and support.  The first couple of weeks I have had to work out the kinks of my training schedule to find the right balance between family, work, training and all the volunteer responsibilities I have taken on this year.


MondayStrength Training Day – after the first class I realized that I had a lot of work to do, when we headed back to the weight room I had trouble lifting the bar on the bench presses.  That’s okay, I know that will pass and I will be stronger.

TuesdayBootcamp Day – went back with my old team two weeks ago.  The first week back it was mentally tough on me to be last and I vomited my first day back on the Indian run which has never happened!  Now that I am on my 3rd week back with my original group I finally feel like I am moving forward.

Wednesday – My day of rest – HALLELUJAH!  

ThursdayBootcamp Track DayI don’t know what it is about track day but it freaks me out every week.  I don’t know if it goes all the way back to my high school days over 24 years ago when I ran track and I did it to stay in shape for volleyball.  My race was the 400 and the 400 relay.  It was a love/hate thing.  I still remember how I felt pushing through and how my legs would feel like jelly by the end of the race.  I know track day is 80% mental and I just need to push myself out of the fear of failure zone.

Friday –   Three Mile Run – I am still trying to get this day right.  I coach Go Far and sometimes I am with a running group and sometimes I am not, but it seems on the days I choose to run in the morning I end up running in the afternoon.  Then if I opt out of running in the morning, then I don’t run in the afternoon.  I will keep trying!

SaturdayLong Run Day – I work on Sunday’s so I did not want to designate my long run day on Sunday’s just in case I needed to recover on the couch or the bed for a while!  My first week was a 5 mile run, which ended up being more of a walk.  The second week was a 7 mile run/walk and Jeanne and I kept between a 12 – 13 minute pace.  For the 3rd week I went for an 8 mile run with Ilona, and was able to run the whole 8 miles with Ilona’s gentle push and steady pace.   Until the last couple weeks I have only run 5 miles once and nothing farther than a 5k.

Sunday Rest Day – I originally planned this for a short run day but after placing a call to Matt, it was decided that this is going to be a rest day for me.  I was actually relieved as I have been trying to figure out how to get more rest into my life between working full-time, shuttling kids, wife, Mom and all the responsibilities of life.  I also work on Sunday’s so this allows me to sleep into 7:00 which is awesome!  

From today’s date I have 18 days till race day.  I have gone from being terrified of the half marathon to the realization that I will be able to finish.  Last week Ilona showed me that I had 8 miles in me.  Through my continuous training with Outer Banks Bootcamps I have felt myself becoming stronger.  I am not the  fastest, but I will be ready to take on the challenge on November 11th and I will finish.

supportI also want to take the time to thank my husband for all he is doing to help me train.  Because he takes on the morning routine with the kids I can train early mornings, and sometimes he even takes on the evenings because I can’t stay awake.  I know without his support, I wouldn’t be where I am now.

Also want to thank my friends Jeanne, Theresa and Ilona that have taken time to run with me on non-bootcamp days!  It’s the support of friends and family that make a goal like this possible.

Special thanks to the coaches and to Adam for helping me work through the diet, training and any other questions I throw his way!    Matt – words cannot express how thankful I am for you and your belief in me.  Jay – You have me on the goal to discover where the magic happens!

Matt, Jay, the coaches and the bootcamp members make me want to continue to better myself and set my goals to the next level.

13.1 – That’s My Goal

Yesterday morning I was able to head back to boot camp!  I was so excited to pick up my fitness routine and start again.  Thank you to everyone for the warm welcome back!!!

The night before I was reflecting and at first quite frustrated that I was starting over for the third time, then I decided better to be starting over, then giving up!   When I went out on my injury in July, I was actually starting to feel like I was getting into the groove of running.  I could breathe without my chest burning, my legs were working for me, and I finally felt like I could keep up.

I still remember the morning of the injury when we were running out to the beach and the pace was quick.  I remember having a whole conversation with myself – “damn, I am running really fast”, “maybe I should slow down”, “that’s not my group”, “where’s my group”, “okay Lisa, just do this!” “see how far you can go”.

Oh come on, I know I am not the only one that has these mental conversations.  We all do, that is what keeps us going when we want to stop or what we have to turn off so we can keep going!

Yesterday morning I started with the “Dragonfly’s”  this camp is the Fall Fitness & Marathon Training Camp“.  My intention for this series was to come back slowly from being away from bootcamp for over 8 weeks.  Matt challenged the group that was not set to train for the 1/2 marathon or marathon to step up to the challenge.  Then sent us out with Coach Adam and Coach Christine.

As I headed out with the group, my thought process was “No Way!”.  “He’s Crazy!” (Sorry Matt), Some people just aren’t built to run distances like that.  Yes, people the excuses kept coming in my mind and out of my mouth and then they left my thoughts for a bit as we were working out.

Throughout the workout I felt pretty good.  I can tell I haven’t run in 2 months and will need to get the lung power back, but I know that comes with more running.  I had a great morning and it was fun to be with all my friends, new friends and one of my most favorite people “Jeannie”!

At the end Adam said we should post are goals where we can see them and to write down our “give” for Christine.  Since I was on a mad dash for work, I didn’t process any of my goals till I had some quiet time.  That is when I started to reflect on Matt’s challenge on the half.  Could I take on 13.1?  Do I have what it takes?

I have run the 5k’s  and they are not easy for me and yes I do realize I have to add 10 more miles onto that, but with the group I train with and their support, my hard work  and a will to succeed, I can do it.  I don’t have to be the fastest  I just need to set the goal to finish it.

Set A Goal.

I posted on Facebook to the coaches and told them I was pondering the half and what did they think,  no one said no in fact Adam just kept posting the registration link for me to sign up.  I received lots of support and great feedback and maybe I can even find a training buddy that I can pace with.

I am putting this out on the blog so I’m locked into it as I know me well enough to excuse myself out of it.  I advise anyone that is on the fence on a huge goal to make it public so you have the support.

My Goal  –  to train and complete the 1/2 Marathon

My Give – Learn how to eat properly and train properly for training for a 1/2 marathon

Anyone else out there want to take Matt’s challenge with me?  You can do it and I know a great group you can train with.

Here is the link to register:  https://www.raceit.com/register/default.aspx?event=7019  

What’s Another Two Weeks in the Scheme of Life?

The last several weeks I have been battling ferocious headaches.  Today, I went to the doctor and discovered that my blood pressure was 160/100.  YIKES!  I have had blood pressure problems in the past, but I thought that I had gotten it under control.

It was another reality moment for me.  Being away from boot camp I have not been able to exercise, and I have been watching what I eat “somewhat”.   But, have I been faithful to my health?  Not 100%.  

I haven’t fallen off the wagon and started diving into bowls of ice cream again, or hitting the McDonald’s.  But I haven’t been working as hard at watching what goes in the mouth.  I’m like every Mom, tired after work, I don’t feel like cooking, anything to make the evening routine simple.  Nachos, tacos or frozen pizza instead of cooking a healthy dinner.

Last week I was already feeling guilty about the quality of food heading into my home.  So I started remodeling the family diet.  For snacks I brought home only fruits, vegetables and some healthy crunchy snacks like popcorn, granola and pretzels.  I am aware, my kids are a product of what I serve in the home so I need to keep on top of it.

Well, they are snacking on apples and grapes  with no ice cream in site and guess what they aren’t complaining“!  I have also set up a meal plan so I know what I am cooking all week and can plan ahead.  Yes, this is all common sense but so easy to ignore.

I have been told by the doctor I need to sit out boot camp two more weeks to make sure the medicine controls my blood pressure.  My first thought was, if I hadn’t had to stop boot camp then my pressure wouldn’t be so bad.  Should’ve, Could’ve, Would’ve s aren’t going to get me very far.    I was a bit bummed about a bit of a longer delay, but taking care of me and my health is a priority.

No pity party for me, that is what got me in trouble in the first place 40 pounds ago.  I just have to keep moving forward the best I can.    What I will do is continue to keep working on the diet and I will make sure I get in a walk every day.  What’s another two weeks away in the scheme of a lifetime?

I didn’t write this because I am looking for sympathy – I want you to take a reality check if you are still on the fence about making a change, go ahead and jump off and pick a side.

I know there will be bad days in this journey of life, this is just another bump in the road and confirmation that I need to continue to work on changing me.  Don’t you want to make a change with me?


The last couple of days I have been fighting one of the worst migraines I have had in the 27 years I have had to deal with them.  I had to drag myself to the doctor today for a little relief.

When the doctor and I were going over my migraine history I mentioned to her that my migraines have not been as bad since I introduced exercise back into my life.  I told her I was sidelined due to my ankle and I have noticed an increase in my migraines not to mention all my other aches and pains.

She asked me if I would be going back to exercise.  My answer “ABSOLUTELY”!  For a moment I was surprised how quickly that one word came out of my mouth and then I realized I have finally made a life change for the better.  Exercise is a part of me and without it I don’t feel complete.

The endorphin’s from exercise have made my quality of life better.  I am happy, confident and my pain threshold is higher.  My migraines have cut back and my back pain is not as intense, not to mention the added bonus of weight loss.  I never realized how effective those natural endorphin’s were in my life until these last 6 weeks.

I have had moments of doubt in myself as to whether or not I could succeed in my quest for a fitter me.  I now have clarity and know that I will continue to better myself mentally as well as physically with my boot camp family.


My Kinesiology Tape showed up today, I can’t wait to tape up the ankle and get back in the game, not tonight but real soon!