Tag Archives: run

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’m Just Not Bad Ass and I’m Okay

Yesterday was quite the day!  My birthday was on Tuesday and I hit the big 42.  Yesterday was Re’s birthday and she had a fitness morning planned.  Her birthday plan was to  take on boot camp, then run a 5k, then bloody mary’s with breakfast, hit the beach and then dinner with friends.  Thank you Re, for letting me share your birthday celebration yesterday!

I know the last time I took on a 5k on a Sunday night, hit boot camp Monday Morning and then headed to a 5k right after that I said I would never do that again.  Well, I was wrong!  Since Re wanted to spend her birthday this way, I jumped on for the adventure even though all through Tuesday I kept saying I was going to skip boot camp, save it for the race and take on boot camp on Thursday.

I decided to take on the challenge in honor of Re’s birthday as well as my own.  Talking to my brother, Nino on Tuesday night he told me I was in the prime of my life, so that was my motto on Wednesday Morning.  I can do this, I am in the prime of my life!

I started Wednesday with my usual 4:30 wake up time and headed to boot camp.  We had Dana and Todd as coaches and they had a fun morning planned which included dragging chunks of wood down the beach with a partner.  For the morning we did not run as far as Monday, which I was grateful for but we did have a challenging morning.

It was another morning of partner training which was fine with me.  The word of the day was “Value”  We dragged the wood down the beach, stopped for a challenging round of abdominal exercises and planking where I valued that I was able to be on the beach and participating in boot camp, then hit the beach again.

At each stop Dana and Todd had exercise set up for us.  Overall, the morning of value was great minus the time in the ocean with the dead fish smell.  Boot camp complete, time to hit the 5k.

I want to give a special shout-out to Deanna “Re’s Daughter” who helped me by taking my kids to camp so that I could run the 5k.  Thank you Deanna!

After a quick shower to rid myself of the dead fish smell, I hit the road to Corolla.  During the drive I choked down a gel, and hydrated with water.  I made it to the race with 10 minutes to spare!

The 5k proved to be quite the challenge.  It was a fast course, but it was hot.  Within the first mile I started the mental chant of “move your feet”, “bloody mary”!  Just after I hit the first mile,  I heard Matt yell to me which was great.

I admit I had to walk a couple of times on this course due to the heat, but for me that morning my goal was to finish.  I didn’t set a new PR as I came in slower than my time from the 4th of July, but I did make it in 42:20, which is a better time than most of the times I have finished with.

To me my finishing picture say’s it all:

What I think I look like finishing
What I really look like!!!

You know the funny thing is I saw the camera, and I tried to smile….just wasn’t in time!

After the race, we headed off to breakfast with bloody marys, beach time with (Re, Ilona, Amanda, Phyllis and Randolph).  I then headed to the other end of the island for a singing concert at my daughters camp and then to swoop in to pick up my youngest son.  I made it home in time to shower and get ready for a girls birthday dinner!

My title comes from conversation at the table last night when Ilona was sharing her thought process on “I’m Just Not Bad Ass and I’m Okay with that”.  I agree with her motto, for me it is not necessary to take on boot camp and a 5k all in one morning.  I was a bad ass yesterday but  I’m just not that bad ass every day!  I will tell you that Re is a bad ass because she will take on the challenge and rock it!  She even set a new PR at the 5k after she had already run a 5k in boot camp!

Now, this does not mean I won’t take on a challenge like this again, but I won’t beat myself up if I don’t.  I may not be a bad ass in the department of exercise, but I am a bad ass in other things I do in life!

Thank you to the fantastic evening – Amy, Ilona, Gloria, Dawn, Jeanne and special thanks to Drake and Deanna for the birthday cake.  I had a blast spending my day with friends and an awesome friend and birthday girl!  Thank you to everyone that helped to make this day special.

The girls! Amy, Re, Ilona, Jeanne, Me and Gloria
Dawn, Re and me
Birthday Girls

Making The Call – Healthy Living

As you know from my last post I had a bit of a wake-up call when I could not keep the pace with 4th and 5th graders.  Now I know children have lots of natural energy, but as a mother of three children, I need to keep up the pace.

I have to confess, I know the benefits of healthy living.  I was an athlete all through junior high, high school and even through my early 20’s.  I was an avid volleyball player and I ran track all through high school.  In my early 20’s I played beach volleyball and found a new love (SUN and my favorite sport!)   Now I LOVED volleyball, it was my sport.  I lived and breathed the sport.

When I played volleyball I did not feel pain that is how much I loved it.  Jammed fingers, swollen knees, sore body parts I didn’t care just let me play.  I did have one problem I was quite short for the sport, but it did not stop my passion.

Running track, different story.  I did it to stay in shape for volleyball.  I HATED running, and every time I ran there was a constant love/hate relationship.  I was not a distant runner, my race was the 400 and I hated that race, who could dream up a sprint for that long.  The thoughts that ran through my head in the late 80’s are still there in 2011/2012.  The one injury that was with me in the late 80’s (shin splints) is still with me now.

So what I am trying to say is I know the benefits of being in shape and I let it all go.  Now, like most busy moms I have placed blame elsewhere.  I get it.  As moms we have so much on our plate, work, kids, cooking, cleaning, volunteering, on and on and on.  I know we don’t take time for ourselves.  Everyone goes before you.  I too have heard, you have to place yourself before others.  Ya, right, tell that to my crying baby and toddler that wants me right now.  It is hard as a mom to do that.  It goes against the grain of being a mom.

I am at the point now where the time is right for me to make myself a priority.  I could look backwards and say I should have tried harder or I could have found the time but that doesn’t change the present.  So I am trying to let the guilt go and focus on the change now.

So the night I came home from my disappointing Go Far practice my brain was on super charge.  I had to make a change and I needed to do something to get me to move, get healthy and lose weight.  Biggest loser was out of the question, have to gain at least a 100 more pounds and then fight for a spot with lots of other Americans! (Reality TV has a watching people lose weight while we eat our ice cream) we need to break away from the unrealistic and seek help locally.  It’s great that they can go away to camp, have full time trainers and be retaught but that doesn’t happen in the real world.  That’s why it is good television.

I do know for the past year, I had checked out a website here in the Outer Banks for a local beach boot camp.  Now when I checked before I thought there is no way in hell I am going to survive an adventure like that.  <Just insert any excuse in the book here!> One big thing was fear, another was embarrassment of not keeping up and last was failure.  I have failed before, I might fail again.

So with a pounding heart, I started to look over the website information, let’s just say looking was a big step and it made me nervous.  Before I could change my mind I sent an email asking about one of the camps.  Let me tell you my stomach was in knots for doing that!  But I made the call, or in today’s world I sent an email which was my first step towards making a healthy change.  I think sometimes the first step can be as simple as drinking water instead of soda, or eliminating something unhealthy from your life.  It is up to you to make the call on what your first step in your health is best for you.

Me – October 4, 2011