Tag Archives: challenge

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. 

Smiling

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. 

Finished!

I’m Back in the Game!

Yesterday I headed back to boot camp after 4 weeks nursing a sprained ankle.  I have missed boot camp but knew I needed to give my ankle the time to heal.  The ankle is not 100% but if I didn’t get back to exercise soon I was going to self-combust!

I realized sitting out these past 4 weeks that I need exercise in my life as a natural mood stabilizer and for stress release   Not to mention the benefits to my health and my special friendships with fellow boot-campers who I think of as family.

fitness quotesI headed out to boot camp at the crazy new time of 5:15 (yuck!) but I was ready to go.  Really in the big scheme of things 15 minutes extra of sleep does not make a big difference.  Just another small mental battle.

I had the usual boot camp jitters, but I did not have self-doubt.  I knew going back for my first day, I can only do what I am capable of, nothing more.  As they say getting back on the horse is the hardest part.

I was greeted warmly by so many of my teammates and I was happy to be back!  Thank you to my teammates and coaches for the warm welcome back.

I was relieved when we warmed up around the building that my lungs still worked.  Back when I first started, a lap around the building was stressful to me.

After push-ups and squats it was time to get started.  Our coach headed us out to the street and on our way.  My friend Theresa, was awesome and stayed with me during this run as my body was screaming at me in shock.  Yes, there is muscle memory but first they have to be shocked back into condition!  Theresa stayed with me through the first part of the morning, and it meant so much to me.  She kept the conversation going while I tried to keep moving.   Big thanks to you Theresa!!!

I have no idea how far we ran yesterday, but each part was a push for me to just keep moving.  At times I was successful and at other times I had to remind myself to not be so hard on myself.

The hardest challenge for me yesterday was when we ran a relay drill and we were paired up into groups of threes.  We did part of the race through a gravel parking lot which had me freaking out a little bit as the last time I ran on gravel I sprained my ankle.

I gave it my best, and by the end of round 7 my head and stomach were in agreement that I made the effort.  I have to say up until that point of the morning I held my own.  Then my lack of conditioning caught me and I was challenged as we headed for the beach.

I had to walk a bit with the gang giving it their best back in  injury alley.  The group in the back is amazing, they are doing their best even when it is painful!  Just have to say to the back of the pack people, you rock!  We supported each other to keep moving and doing what we could do.  Thank you Chris for pushing me, when I couldn’t push myself!

Don't give up

Of course at other times when I was actually jogging and saw a walker I shouted out, “if I’m not walking, you can’t walk – I’ve been out 4 weeks”!  Yesterday, was the only day I could throw that phrase out there so thank you for not tripping me!

Do your best.Right before I hit the beach, I actually had a moment when I thought “it’s okay, you can stop.”  Well, I pushed that emotion down and went with “Do Your Best”, thanks to the wise words of my friend Joan.  Those words carried me the rest of the morning, not only the words but the support of my friends and teammates.

My teammates reached out to me in different ways yesterday, from saying hello to an encouraging word.  Extra special thanks to my team of 3-Kami and Jennifer for not leaving me.

That is the beauty of boot camp, the support, the team, the friendships, amazing athletes, with a little boot camp love, sweat and an occasional tear thrown in! I’m happy to be back even if I may be heading up the back of the pack for a while as I am getting back in the game.

Running on the Rope – Week 2 Outer Banks Bootcamps

This week is a crazy week.  It is the last week of school for my kids and at the end of the week I am going out-of-town for my sister’s baby shower.  My daughter is also graduating from Elementary School and her last week of school is booked solid.   I am happy that I have boot camp to help alleviate some of the stress of running around crazy!

On Sunday night, my brain decided to work overtime and I had a hard time sleeping.  I ended up with about 2.5 hours of sleep before it was time to wake up.  I did have a moment when I thought “it’s okay, you can skip…you have not slept!”  Well, the moment passed.  I did not want to miss my boot camp morning  since I will be out-of-town the following Monday.  So off to boot camp I went, “mind over matter”.

As we were lining up with our teams I noticed an extremely long rope on the ground.  I had a moment of fear when I realized that we were going to be holding onto the rope and running as a team.  Not only was I in for a morning full of exercise I was going to be working on the mental side as well.

I will admit I have been a part of a rope run before and things did not go well, but as I have mentioned things are changing for me.  It’s not an “oh crap I can’t do this moment”, it’s now a “I will do this moment”.    Just making the small switch in thinking has helped me push harder and actually run farther.  No, I’m not breaking records but I do keep moving.

So off we went and for about the first mile, we just ran without walking.  When someone is in front of you and someone is behind you the focus is on moving your feet and not slowing anyone down.  After the first mile, we stopped at intervals for push-up breaks (yes, i know not really a break)  and then headed on down the road.

When we reached the pier, we had to jump up and onto the sand with the help of our teammates.  Once we hit the beach, Matt talked with us about running shoes before we headed down the beach.  I do know that I made the whole 3 miles pushing forward the whole time up until the last-minute when I tripped on a very large piece of concrete which put me flat on my face.  It was amazing that the teammates behind me did not crash onto me!  The good thing was, it was jump in the ocean time so I didn’t have long to reflect on my face plant!  (I just have a little bruising and a sore toe, so I got off easy!)

Once we hit the ocean, we circled up and I was lucky to have a very tall teammate hold me up as my feet were not touching the ocean floor.  I think he actually held up a whole row of people!  We all laid back and floated in a circle, which was quite the feeling after the run.  We were lucky and only had one wave crash on us!

I know I made another turning point Monday Morning when I made it through the whole run with a positive attitude and belief in myself.  I won’t say it was easy, but I would do it again!  I was so proud of myself and my teammates for taking on the challenge and finishing the morning strong.

I know that our workouts will become more difficult each time but I can’t wait to see the challenges as well as the progress I make along the way.