Tag Archives: Jay Bowman

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. 


Play Like a Kid

Monday we had Jay and for the record he rocks!  This man will push you beyond your limit, have you playing like a kid, and not thinking about the pain that will be headed your way as soon as you leave boot camp….of course always with a smile on his face!

Jay Bowman

We started our morning with a run to the end of the street by knuckle-up.  I use to loath this street, because I couldn’t even make it half way.  I have even cried on this street more than once and have even wanted to quit.  For the moment, I am happy to be passed that feeling.

At the end of the road there is a little loop like parking area where lunges became the name of the game.  We lunged alone and in pairs.  I am sure that is why my backside hurts quite a bit today!

We then headed down a path to the sound where we did a drill that reminded me of my volleyball days and for others their basketball days!  Sideways steps on both sides, running backwards and then running forwards.  I loved the view when we were facing the sound, and I admit running backwards was fun!  Leave it to Jay to bring out the kid in every one of us!

When we reached the end of the path, we were told to run at about a 7 with a 10 being an all out sprint.  I am all for pushing myself, but I hate when I don’t know where the end is.  The end actually was quite far for a quick pace, started off fast, walked for a second and then went back to a fast pace.  I was a happy girl to see the stop sign!

Run run run run..

We then headed on down Kitty Hawk road for the beach where the Ocean was calling my name.  I am a water child at heart and feel quite comfortable in it.  So on a jog I went, with a water chant in my head.

When we hit the beach, we did crunches, and for me more crunches for everyone else some type of side lunge and more sideways running and then I made a pathetic attempt at jumping jacks.

For some reason my legs were like jelly and I couldn’t move them anymore.  We also had some friendly beach fun racing to marked corners, duck walking and backwards crawling to see which team could reach the other corner first.  Yes, we did get in the water…but not for long!

I have to say the hi-light of my morning was watching the folks from N.E.S.T.  around a hatching turtle nest.  I would have loved to spent the rest of my morning there checking out that adventure, but had to run on back to the gym so I could make it to work on time.




As I sit here with my sore legs and glutes I know I worked hard and also had fun!  Thanks Jay for bringing out the kid in us and for pushing us!  In the morning  I am off to run another round of the  Brindley Beach Lighthouse 5k Series.

Swimming with Dolphins

Today was an all over kind of morning in terms of strength and endurance with boot camp.   We had a treat with Jay leading our group this morning.  I love Matt, but it is nice to have different coaches to mix it up.

Apparently it was heard that Jay was an easy coach, um what!  Not true!  We started with push-ups and then Jay handed out empty sand bags and off we ran.  I thought we were headed for the beach but we ran through the neighborhood for a while.  This part of the morning I was able to hold my own even when we had to run holding onto the person in front of us.  I felt like I was doing great for me with running until we hit the beach to fill up our sandbags.

Since I announced that I would not be using the word “I Can’t” I opted not to use it when it came to running with the sand bag.  Running didn’t occur for me at this point but I did walk fast with my sandbag.  Carrying that type of weight for me presents a challenge due to my herniated disk.  I choose not to say no to the exercise, I just did it to the best of my ability.

I went from doing okay at the beginning of the morning to dead last on the beach.  UGH, hate that feeling!  Even though I hated that feeling I know that is the beauty of boot camp, to be challenged and pushed to go beyond what we have done before.  I may not have been able to do some of the challenges today, but it would be boring if they made it easy for us.

After heading down the beach with our sandbags we reached a stopping point in front of a house on the beach, and we had quite the captive audience from vacationers.  We had a gentleman that was filming us, which was quite funny.  So how does he present the video footage, “you won’t believe this, so I was walking on the beach and this large group of people came running up with sandbags, proceeded to do sit-ups with sandbags and then ran into the ocean to swim.”  I am sure we are a site!  The fun part was when the vacationers on the deck at the house were cheering for us.  Nothing like a morning on the beach with built-in supporters!

Once we headed into the swimming portion of the morning I felt like I was back on equal footing.  Swimming in the ocean felt great and somehow Jay was able to arrange for us to swim with dolphins as well!  Wonder what he will coordinate for next week.

It was a perfect way to end a challenging morning.  On Wednesday is the Outer Banks Firecracker & Freedom 5k and Friday is my 3rd Boot Camp Graduation.  I am super excited to finish my 3rd camp and look forward to my next go round.  Thank you to all my teammates and coaches for the encouragement and the support.  Everyone of you encourage me to do better and to strive to take it to the next level.

know better, do better

Jockey’s Ridge Take Two

Yesterday, June 27th was my second boot camp morning at Jockey’s Ridge.   I was thankful that one of my fellow boot campers gave me a ride as my mind was already struggling while my back was cramping.  The thing is, I am not here to whine, so old Lisa would have said “no way, my back is hurting.  I am not going to go”.  New improved Lisa ” do the best you can and finish”.

Taking on the first hill was quite the challenge, especially when we were told to go up and down the hill twice.  For those of you not familiar with Jockey’s Ridge, this is not a typical hill, this is a sand hill.  Takes on a whole new meaning to get up the hill.  Once we got to the top of the hill we were instructed to do jumping jacks on loose sand, that didn’t go so well,  so up and down we went.  Next up was sit-ups ( I think!) then push-ups that turned into the longest holding position in my life.  My arms are still aching, we then took it to a plank.

After the first adventures of the morning we took off following the coaches.  Let me just say it is quite the site to see all those people running in the sand.  When we stopped we were broken into teams.  Off Matt went and the bull sharks followed.   All I know is we ran, and ran and then ran some more.  In the sand, on a trail and then back to a very large sand hill where we met up with the two other teams.  One of our coaches led us in squats while we waited for everyone to return.

The rest of the morning was a beautiful run, I did take time to notice the scenery even though my body seemed to be fighting me every step of the way.  When we reached a point we teamed up with a partner.  Thank you to my beautiful partner, Jamie who carried me (I am not light so I was very impressed!)  I was not able to carry her due to my back so we ran when it was my turn.

Photo Credit: Jay Bowman

During this entire morning I never felt quite right and with my back in spasms the whole time I eventually ended up in the back of the pack.  I felt disappointed and angry that I could not keep up.  I was close to tears as well but decided I was going to keep strong and keep the tears at bay.  When the morning came to an end I was happy that I finished but left with disappointment.  I had not felt this way in quite sometime and did not like the feeling.

I found this photo and it did help me remember what my journey is all about.  As long as I keep trying then I am working towards achieving my goals.  My lack of fitness and weight gain did not happen overnight and I can’t expect everything to turn around in under 6 months time.  I did discover why I felt off all morning, Wednesday afternoon I started running a fever and a stomach bug hit me.  At least I know I did the best I could even when my body was working against me.  Next week is the end of my 3rd complete boot camp and I look forward to staying on my journey and taking on Jockey’s Ridge again in the next 6 weeks.

Photo: Totally true about today!  Tough morning for me, closest I have been to tears in months at boot camp.  </p><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Every now and then my back reminds me why I need to keep trying to push through the pain.  Today was one of those days, but I finished.  Not the fastest, not the strongest but full of heart.

My amazing teammates – Photo Credit: Jay Bowman

Holy Hill Food Banks Cans

We hit Holy Hill aka Wright Brother’s National Park yesterday for another round of tackling the hill.  We had a larger amount of boot campers and a lot more sweat!  Yesterday was muggy and buggy!  I love now that I am on the journey I can notice the changes I have made from the last time I hit the hill.  Last time it was a struggle to run from the parking lot to the monument, this time running to the monument was just fine!

We were divided into groups at the top of the monument.  Everyone had backpacks which included not only a change of clothes and a towel but also 4 cans of food and two bottles of water.  Our mission was to unload a canned item every time we ran down and then back up the hill.  This would account for a guaranteed 6 trips up and down.  One of our fellow boot campers even brought her father along, a retired colonel and he took on Holy Hill with us.  It was a hi-light of my morning to see him heading up and down the hill.

Me from the Last Holy Hill Adventure – see how far up and down is!

After completing our cycle of going up and down the hill, Matt Costa and Jay Bowman gave a great motivational talk followed by a heart stopper assignment – Matt said “okay everyone you are going to put the can’s back in your pack one at a time and go up and down until all the can’s are gone”.  Oh hell!  What’s a girl to do but grab a can and head on down the hill.  To my relief upon reaching the top of the hill we were told to pack everything up to bring back to the cars.  The great thing about this morning was not only did we have a fantastic workout, we donated all the food to our local food bank.

I am looking forward to what the next adventure brings!

Update – 372.4 lbs of food was delivered to the beach food pantry thanks to the Hammerheads, Bull Sharks and the Clownfish. Thank you Ann Marie for the photo!