Thursday, December 6, 2012

I did it!

Oh my word.  I have been waiting for six months to write this post and I don't even know where to start!  I did it!  I finished a half marathon!  It's taken me five days to find the time to blog about it and I'm still in shock a little bit.

I think I mentioned before that I had been so nervous in the weeks leading up to the race, but somehow had found a way to get my nerves in check a couple of days before.  Even on race day I had decided this was going to be just like any other race.  I was going to start and then I was going to finish.  I wasn't trying to finish first.  I wasn't trying to beat anybody.  This was my first half marathon, so I didn't have a personal record to beat.  No need to be nervous, right?  I was, however, super excited!  The night before I laid my clothes, bib, headband, etc out, ate some fried rice because apparently you're supposed to "carb load" before a long run (I don't really know but it seemed like a good enough excuse ;)), and made sure to be in bed by 9:30.  **side note: by "bed" I mean "couch."  My bed had been hurting my back recently and my couch had seemed much more comfy.  I didn't want to risk waking up with back pain.**

Saturday morning I woke up right on time.  (5 a.m. in case you were wondering.)  Got ready and was out the door to meet my friends and head downtown.  Notice I didn't mention eating anything for breakfast.  No granola bar.  No banana.  No gu.  I will find a little later, during the race, that this was a mistake. 

We got downtown around 7 and the race started at 8.  The atmosphere was so exciting.  There were a TON of people down there but somehow I ran into my aunt and uncle and was able to get a hug and talk to them before I took off.  That was a nice surprise.  :)  We caught part of the 5k that kicked off at 7:15, so watching and cheering for them was fun.  Like I said, the half and full marathons started at 8, but the pace group I started running in didn't cross the start line until about 8:25.  And then I was off!  Sadly, or maybe not sadly, but oddly I could probably still describe each and every mile to you in detail, but I won't torture you!  At the start of the race I tried really hard to keep my two friends in my vision.  That lasted all of about a minute and a half.  There were just too many people, but that was ok.  I ended up finding them again at the mile and a half mark.  The first 5 miles were a blast!  We ran up Riverside drive and up Beale Street.  There were bands or DJs almost every mile.  On Beale I saw a ton of people I knew standing off to the side cheering people on.  At mile 5 we ran through the St. Jude campus and OH MY WORD.  I can't even describe to you the feelings.  There were balloons, people, signs, St. Jude kids and their parents...all cheering for you, thanking you, calling you by name.  I'm tearing up now just at the memory.  What an awesome and incredible experience!  We had some friends waiting on the side for us when we ran through St. Jude.  It was so good to seem them cheering us on and to hug their necks!  After running through there and seeing our friends, we knew we had more people cheering us on around mile 9, so that kept us going that far.  Unfortunately, and here comes the TMI, I somehow managed to get hit with a UTI somewhere in the middle of the race.  I've never had one before, so I was completely freaked out.  And in every port-a-potty from then until the end of the race.  It was really, really painful.  At mile 7 my legs started cramping badly.  I ran through the pain off and on for about two miles.  At mile 9 we saw my friend's mom, sister, and son.  Her son was holding a giant balloon shaped like a monkey that said "Hang In There!"  I don't think there could have been a more appropriate sign!  After hugging their sweet necks we were back at it and headed straight for the finish.  I tried running more, but at that point I couldn't run without my calves cramping up.  Between that and the UTI, I just didn't have anymore "run through the pain" in me.  At mile 10 my friend went on ahead without me and I conceded to walking the rest of the way.  Miles 11-13 were the most difficult and most painful of the whole race.  You'd think getting to mile 11 I would be able to tell myself, "Come on...just two more miles!"  Nope.  I felt like I was done.  I wanted to text my cousin, who was waiting for me at the finish, and just ask her to come pick me up.  Then the texts started rolling in.  So glad I had my phone with me!  I was getting text messages from my sisters, my cousin, and so many of my girlfriends pushing me and encouraging me!  (Here come the tears, I can't even blog without getting emotional!)  When I got just past the 13 mile mark and made it into the redbirds stadium I could see the finish line...and my mom and cousin.  It was like every bit of pain I felt had disappeared (for the time being).  I tried to run across the finish, if for no other reason than to look better in my picture :), but my legs were still cramping, so that didn't happen.  But it was ok.  I finished!  I crossed the finish line about an hour after I hoped to but I just didn't care.  I was so happy and so proud of myself for finishing!  My mom and my cousin were so proud of me...that felt awesome!

Here's a (terrible) picture of me just after finishing.  Note that my arms and fingers were so double sized!  I couldn't even make a fist.

So, as it turns out I was super dehydrated which caused the UTI and the leg cramps.  I should have drank a lot more water than I did in the week leading up to the race.  And I should have eaten a little something Saturday morning.

Since the race on Saturday I am still receiving so many text messages, facebook messages, twitter messages, etc congratulating me.  Such a great feeling!  My friend that got me started running had me over for wine to celebrate with some of her friends.  And they MIGHT have made a happy, cheery "woo hoo" bridge for me to run through.  But don't worry, it wasn't embarrassing at all.  ;)  Some other sweet friends sent me beautiful flowers to work!  How sweet!

So, I've been asked a lot if I lost any weight while training and if so how much.  YES.  I did lose weight, but not a lot.  I lost about 25 pounds in the whole six months and that was mostly in the beginning.  The fact is, long distance running is not the best for weight loss.  In the beginning it was working because there was a lot of running and walking.  My heart rate would go up and then go back down, back up and back down.  Steady running and keeping my heart rate basically the same the entire time wasn't as helpful with the weight loss.  BUT, I didn't gain any weight back, ever.  Not when I wasn't eating like I should, not at Thanksgiving, never.  That's awesome.  And starting in January I plan to work on my speed, which should help with the weight loss again.  I do feel much more healthy than I have in a long time.

Another question I had been asked is if I would keep running after the half.  Before I just didn't know.  Now I can say I will definitely keep running.  I will definitely do another half.  It was such a great experience and I still feel so proud.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Marathon Week!

OH MY WORD!  Y'all, I cannot even believe the week of my half marathon is here.  I'm am freaking out a little bit!  I can't believe it's been six months since I started my training.

Last week my nerves were completely shot.  I couldn't focus on anything but this race and "what if" I come in last place, "what if" I suck, "what if..."  blah blah blah.  After talking to a friend who has completed many half marathons I felt much better.  The race isn't consuming my thoughts at this point, but I do still get butterflies and nervous feelings when people mention it.  I mean...four days!  I'm going to run 13.1 miles in FOUR days!

Y'all, training has been so fun.  Actual physical running aside, I have met so many fun people!  Some I've met in person and lots I haven't, but talk to them on blogger/twitter/facebook like we've been friends forever.  You have all been so encouraging throughout the last six months and I'm SO grateful for that!  Hopefully we can keep those new friendships going...the encouragement is definitely necessary.  :)

So this week's training is super easy.  Almost seems too easy compared to the rest.  Couple of three milers and then the big day...(Eeeek!!)  I can't wait to blog after the half marathon!

I know this post has been all over the place.  I'm a big ball of nerves and excitement right now!
Talk to you all soon!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012


OH MY WORD.  Can y'all believe the big race is only about two and a half weeks away?!  I can't!  It's now time to start tapering my training, which means lowering my long runs until race day!  Yay!  I'll probably do a ten miler this weekend, an eight miler next weekend, and then the half marathon. 

Yesterday I ran the Greenway with two friends that have been training for the half marathon with me.  Our run was somewhere between 6 and 8 miles (GPS kept losing signal) and it was a decent run compared to my average, but I'm SO slow.  And running with my friends, while it definitely holds me accountable, can be so discouraging.  I really should have done speed work in my training.  But oh well.  Next time.

Speaking of next time, my friends and I have been discussing a little whether or not we will keep running after the half.  I really can't answer for sure right now, but it's definitely something I think about a lot.  On one hand, it's still SO hard to me.  It would be really easy to never run again after I cross that finish line on December 1st.  But on another hand, I've come so far and I've never stuck with anything as long as I have stuck with running.  (Sad, I know.)  Plus I haven't gotten as good as I'd like to, so part of me wants to keep training after the half.  There's also something really exciting about the thought of just going out for a run and not having to measure the distance to make sure I'm meeting my training know, just going out to run for fun.  I really do want to continue, so I guess the trick here will be taking a long enough break after the half to let my body recover, but not so long that I don't ever start back.

So, marathoners and half marathoners, how long of a break do y'all take after a big race like this?  Or do y'all take one at all?  Do y'all find it hard to start back?


Monday, November 5, 2012

Weekend Recap

I wanted to post a recap of my weekend because it was probably the best weekend for running since I started my training.

First, I got my racing singlet in the mail last week.  That made me SO nervous, but also extra motivated!  

Friday night I ran another race...the True Blue 5K at the University of Memphis.  It was SO MUCH better than the one I ran the week before.  I still ran it pretty slowly, but felt much better after this one than I did after the BWW 5K.  I didn't even cry during or after this one...ha!  Plus, we got to run through the tiger's mouth to cross the finish can you be upset about that??

Saturday morning I met a friend at the Green Line and we were going to attempt our long run for the week...9 miles.  My body nor my stinky attitude were going to let me do nine miles that day.  In fact, they weren't going to let me do more than two.  So I finished a little two miler and went on home completely mad at myself, but swearing I'd do nine the next day. 

I may have still been a little bit unsure of myself on Sunday, but that evening I popped some Gatorade energy chews, met up with two friends and we set out for the nine miler.  We started out at one of my friend's place and about 5.5 miles in were at my place, where we all paused slightly for a water/bathroom break.  Also took a Gu packet at this point.  (Note to self: no more blackberry gu...NOT good!)  Leaving my place to finish it off I knew there was no way we weren't going to finish.  See, my car was at my friend's house, which is exactly 3.5 miles from mine at the shortest route.  We had no choice but to finish.  The first and last mile were the hardest to me...and when we made it back to friend's house I wasn't in the greatest mood.  But holy crap.  We did it.  We ran nine miles, which was the longest run for any of us.  That's only 4.1 miles short of our half marathon!  I left friend's house without saying much to the girls, but it was just minutes before I called/texted them freaking out about what we had just accomplished.  I also couldn't wait to text Christin to tell her about it. 

This nine miler included the tiny little mile Christin and I ran together on my very first ever run.  Back then I think I had to stop and walk 4 or 5 times before I made it just half a mile.  I hadn't run that stretch since Christin and I ran it together, so of that entire nine miles I think running that little piece without stopping may have been the most rewarding.  (Yes, I'm a nerd.)

We shoot for 10 miles this weekend and I know now that I can do it.  I'm pumped and super excited for the half marathon coming up in just four weeks!  Now...let's just hope this motivation can last! 


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Dead Last

I ran in a race on Friday (two days ago) and it's taken me all weekend to decide that I would blog about it. Originally I thought to myself, "This is so embarrassing. There is no way I'm posting this for the whole world to see." Well, now I'm looking at it differently.

Ok, so. Friday was the Buffalo Wild Wings 5k for St. Jude and the best friend and I decided it would be great practice for the big race coming up. It was a night race which I thought would be great since I'm used to running at night. We got there and got all signed up and I got NERVOUS. Not really sure why, but I did. So we get outside to start the race, get a little instruction from the sponsor and then we're off. There was a little bit of confusion in the beginning as to where the actual start of the race was, so there was a lot of starting and stopping on our part. We finally get going and I'm doing well at first. We decided to start in the back just because we're not pro racers and it seemed most people there were. Plus I'm slow, so it just seemed like a good place to start. That just meant that from the start of the race we had the last police escort on our tails the whole time. That's a little intimidating. :) At one point I slowed way down for whatever reason. I just remember telling my friend that she didn't have to slow down with me and just to go on. Looking back, I probably should have stayed with her. I got to the halfway point and there were only two people behind me. TWO. And then the police escort car. At that point I lost it. I just gave up. I was embarrassed, discouraged, just stopped running. I walked the rest of the race. The two ladies behind me caught up and walked with me. (They were so nice, by the way, and didn't even make fun of me for crying...haha!) I got almost to the end and friend was waiting for me and walked in with me. Then I looked up and here came two other people I knew from running that also finished it out with me. (P.S. that's one thing I love about the running world. SO supportive!) One of the girls that came back to finish it with me probably won the whole race but she was still there to encourage people the rest of the way. The other person was my coach's husband. I just remember him saying, "It doesn't matter how you run the race. All that matters is how you look crossing the finish line." That may have gotten a tiny laugh out of me. Then we ran across the finish line, where my running coach was.

Y'all, I came in last place. DEAD LAST. I've run 3 miles plenty of times but it just wasn't happening this night. At that point, I was done. No more running. I was ready to sell my spot in the half marathon and be done. I've participated in a ton of 5k's, even as a walker, and had never in my life come in last place. I was devastated! I cried all the way home. The entire next day it was on my mind. Still so embarrassed and so devastated.

Today I've turned that around some how, and I'm glad I have. I'm glad I waited until now to post in my blog. I've turned the devastation into determination. I'm using this experience to push on. In fact, I'm already signed up for another race this weekend.

I'm glad I'm feeling better about it. Just hope I can keep up the positive attitude! Besides, if anyone can ROCK last place it's me, right?!


Monday, October 15, 2012

When does it "click"?

I can't believe I'm going to run a half marathon in a month and a half! 

It's been a while since my last blog post, so I felt like I needed to post something.  I don't really have any updates on my distances.  My hip is finally feeling much better.  Whatever was going on there REALLY slowed down my training, so I'm a bit behind.  I should be running 8 miles by now and I'm not, but that's ok.  8  That's a lot! 

Running is still SO hard for me.  I feel like I keep waiting for that moment when it just "clicks."  I've heard so much about that moment...but haven't exactly gotten there yet.  I definitely have times where I want to get out there and do it.  I sort of crave a run, but when I get out there it's still so hard.  Every time I go out it's still a struggle.  Whether it's a short run or a long run, it's always tough.  But what is it they say?  If it was easy everyone would do it, right? 

When did it "click" for you?  Or did it ever?  Anybody else feel like I do?


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Why I Run

Tonight I felt good about my run for the first time in a few weeks.  It was a short one...a little over three miles...but it felt good.  My hip still hurts...icing it now...but tonight just felt good. 

Don't get me wrong, it was still tough.  I had to continue to remind myself why I run, which may have been what made it feel so good.  Over and over in my mind: "I run because I'm 33 and my dad started with heart trouble in his mid thirties (died at 38)." "I run because I'm blessed with the ability to do so and so many others aren't." "I run because I'm training to run a half marathon in support of sweet little beauties with cancer that don't have the same ability (by the way, have to throw in my fundraising pitch :)  You can click here to sponsor my half and donate to St. Jude)."  "I run because I love my body and I want to take care of it."  Over and over...this was what was running through my mind as I was running down the street.

I'm a little over two months away from the big race.  Hoping for another good run tomorrow and then upping to seven miles on Saturday.  Holy smokes!  SEVEN miles.  That's insane!


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Worst Runner Ever

Either running is the most frustrating sport there is, or I'm the worst runner ever.  Or maybe a little bit of both.

Let me start by saying I've had this hip pain (I'm an old lady) for about 2 weeks.  At first I was able to run through it and be ok, but this passed weekend I was supposed to up my run to 6 miles and made it about 2.5 before I had to stop.  The pain was excruciating and I just couldn't go any further. 

I spent Monday night with a runner friend and a few of her runner friends and got some good advice, was shown some hip strengthening exercises, took a couple of days off to recover, and thought tonight I'd be able to make it.  Now keep in mind, my long run is only 6 miles right now, so during the week I'm only supposed to run between 3 and 4 miles.  Tonight was just awful...hip was hurting, I had no drive, no stamina...I just didn't even want to be out there.  It was almost like I had never run before.  Ok, that's a little bit of an exaggeration, but not much.  I have two and a half months before I'm supposed to run 13.1 miles.  Can someone please remind me what made me think that would ever be possible??  I'm just so disappointed in myself.

I'm going to give it a go again tomorrow and I have another chance at the 6 miles this weekend.  Fingers crossed...


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

First Race!

So.  Yesterday I ran my first race since I started training.  I ran the Chick Fil A 5k in downtown Memphis and I was awful!  Ha! It was a very last minute decision...literally decided Sunday night that I was going to run it on Monday morning.  So Monday morning I got up (late), threw my running clothes on and was out the door.  The whole way downtown I was trying to talk myself out of it.  I was tired, I was going alone, there were millions of reasons for me to turn around and go back home.  But I didn't. And I'm so glad!  What an experience!  It was exciting from the time I walked into Auto Zone Park to register.  There was a band playing, tons of runners, and we got a fun little goody bag. 

So I got registered and headed to the start line.  I read online the day before that if you expected to win anything to make sure you make your way to the front of the start line.  So I stayed at the back.  Literally the back...behind 2000+ people.  The start was a little tough.  It was hard trying to make my way through the walkers, finding a hole so I could get in my groove.  But I got there.  Finally got in my groove.  And then quickly fell out of it.  I didn't run the entire 3.2, which was frustrating, since I've run 3 miles straight lots of times.  It was HOT and I'm not used to running in the day time.  Since it's been so hot I've been running at 8p or later.  I also had to carry my goody bag with me the whole time.  Like I mentioned earlier, I was running late, so I didn't have time to make it back to my car before the race started.  Oh well.  Lesson learned.  Get there early or take a friend to hold your stuff!  I can still tell you the best part of the race and the worst for me.  Best was turning the corner onto Riverside Drive and feeling the incredible breeze come off the river.  Ahhh.  Worst would be turning the corner onto Beale and heading straight up hill.  Lord help.  At the end of the race we came into Auto Zone Park (Redbirds Stadium) and crossed the finish line right at third base.  That was pretty cool!  My time was ridiculously slow.  So slow that I'm not going to share.  :)  But I'm happy to at least have a time to beat at the next race. 

After the race Chick Fil A provided free chicken sandwiches (YUM!) and people just hung out in the stadium.  So fun!

I'm such a nerd, I know, but the most exciting part to me was getting my very first racing bib! 

Can't wait for the next race!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

You Take the Good, You Take the Bad

As would be expected, I get most of my inspiration to blog while I'm running.  And tonight's run was just bad.  B-A-D.  But don't worry.  This isn't going to be one of those "I hate running" posts.  Quite the opposite, actually.  Let's start with an AWESOME update: Last week I ran the farthest I've ever run without stopping to walk or rest.  Guess how long.  4 miles.  4.  FOUR.  I realize for a lot of people that's just another day...but for me it's HUGE!  I was/am so excited!  It made me think back to my first ever run.  I couldn't even make it 1/4 of a mile without stopping...and I just went four whole miles!  Beyond excited! 

Over the weekend I was at the lake...Greers Ferry.  While I was there I tried for a little 2-miler and it was quite possibly the worst run to date.  The roads there could be roller coasters.  Literally up, down, up, down.  I'm not used to running hills yet, so I only made it a little over a mile and a half before having to stop and walk the rest of the way.  In my defense...these hills may as well have been mountains.  They were huge.  You know the hills of Heber!  HUGE!  Anyways, it was very discouraging.  I may have even cried from disappointment in myself.  I mean come on, I had JUST run four miles straight a couple of days before. was bad, and now I'm over it.

Came home and ran at the beginning of the week and it was fabulous!  I ran 2.5 miles, which is what my training told me to run, and it was perfect.  I felt awesome the entire time.  What bad run over the weekend??  I was back on top!

Then there was tonight.  Another 2.5...and it was awful.  I had to walk a little bit, and when I did stop to walk it was so hard to get running again.  Only went about 2.1 tonight, but I just couldn't take another step.

Now...the good news here is that as I've decided...I've learned...that sometimes there are just bad days.  Sure, there are lots of things I do in my daily life that can play a part in how I run, but sometimes, even if I've done everything perfectly, there are just bad days.  And it's about time I realized that.  Otherwise it's going to be a long 14 more weeks!  (Can y'all believe I'm on week 10 of my training??  I can't!  Awesome!)

You know, when you love somebody/something, you take the good and you take the bad...that's love.  With running it's no different.  I'm so glad I love it enough now to not let the bad days get to me as bad.  Don't get me wrong...they still definitely get to me...but they don't make me want to quit.  I can still get excited about the next run.  About making it better. 

5 miles this week...wish me luck!


Sunday, August 5, 2012

I'm Back!

I wanted to blog today because I feel like my last few posts have been real downers...ha!

So.  I added a mile to my run tonight, which put me at four miles.  I know...just another day for most of you, but for me it's kinda a big deal!  I was nervous, but excited about doing it.  I ran with my friend, Susanne, who is also training for the half marathon (yay, Susanne!) and I have to say it was probably my best run yet!  I felt good the whole time, my breathing was was just...good.  I really needed that after my terrible week last week.  Last week I was ready to throw in the towel.  After tonight I fell like I'm right back where I need to be as far as my training goes and I'm already super pumped about running tomorrow!

So that's it.  Short and sweet.  Just wanted to put a little excitement in my blog as it's been lacking that here lately!  Ah, the ups and downs of training.  :)

Who else out there is running?  Let me know how your training is going!  I love reading your always inspires me!



Friday, August 3, 2012

WARNING: Debbie Downer Wrote This

So this week has just been bad.  There's no other way to put it.  My runs have been terrible (with the exception of one) and I have literally ZERO motivation.  I've been so tired this week and all I've wanted to do is lay in my bed.

I'm on week 7 of my training and in this weekend's run I'm supposed to up my run by a mile.  I would usually see this and be so excited about adding a mile.  But to be completely honest, this week I'm dreading it!  What is wrong with me??  Anybody else hit this "plateau" in their training?  I would like to blame PMS (sorry fellas, it's a fact of life).  Could that be the culprit?  This week I've gone from telling myself  "I've got this." to "What was I thinking?" and "I wonder if anyone would want to buy my spot in the half." 

I know my posts have been such downers let me go ahead and say that Wednesdays run was awesome.  SO awesome.  I ran further than I ever have and although it was HARD, I did it.  And I felt awesome afterwards.  I was so proud of myself and thought that would have been the push I needed to get going get excited again.  But so far, no.

Next week is going to be better.  Next week is going to be awesome.  Next week I'm kicking that pavement's ass. 

So.  What do you do to regain motivation?


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Thank goodness for rest days!

Y'all, I have done NOTHING as far as fitness goes today and it's been awesome!  I'm now running four days a week and going to a fitness class two days a week, so I look so forward to an off day.  I'm not saying I don't feel fabulous after a workout, just saying a day to do nothing is nice, too.  Today I am SO SORE from yesterday's fitness class and run!  If you're looking for a good class to work every muscle in your entire body, check out Natalie at Jay-Lo Fitness in Olive Branch.  She'll tear you up on Mondays and Fridays at 5am!  SO worth the $5!

So my training just gets harder and harder which means it's easier and easier to become discouraged.  I've reached so many milestones since I started running.  It's just hard sometimes to keep that in mind in the midst of a difficult run.  I was thinking as I was running last night about all the people that tell me they LOVE running.  They CRAVE running.  Can I please get to that point???  I think I can honestly say I crave it.  Usually getting out the door to run is not the problem and on days I don't run I almost feel guilty.  But once I'm actually doing it, I can't wait for it to be over.  It's tough.  It's hard work.  Sometimes it just plain sucks.  So I don't think I can say I love it yet.  Is it possible to crave something you don't yet love?  Apparently so.  Or maybe I just have a love/hate relationship with running for right now. I know I've complained a lot recently.  I'm not giving up.  I just want to be able to come back to this after I finish that 13.1 and know exactly how I was feeling today.

If it was easy, everyone would do it, right?! :)


Monday, July 16, 2012

Some Lessons Learned

Saturday I added a mile to my training.  I felt every bit of that extra mile.  The whole run was absolutely terrible, one problem after another.  But...all of the problems could have totally been avoided.  First off, I make it a point to NOT run in the heat of the day.  Saturday, however, had been cloudy, rainy...absolutely no sun.  In fact, I hadn't really seen sun in a week.  I had to be out of town early Saturday morning, so I put off my run until the afternoon thinking it'd be fine since the sun wasn't out.  Well, don't think the sun didn't decide to finally make an appearance right when I started running.  It was SO HOT!!  Lesson 1 learned: ONLY early morning or later evening runs in the summer time...even if it's been cloudy and/or rainy!

I didn't take water with me on my run and I already promised myself I wasn't running without water anymore.  Oops.  Yeah, BIG oops.  I was dying!  I actually had to take a break about 3/4 of the way through to rest a minute and get some water.  Turns out I rested a little too long and downed too much water considering I still had a little ways to go.  It was really hard to get going again and when I did get going I honestly thought I was going to throw up.  I could literally feel the water sloshing around in my stomach.  Lesson 2 learned: take water with you, but don't down too much at a time while you're running!

I was dogsitting (imagine that) this weekend so I wasn't at home.  I didn't have my shoes with me so I borrowed some.  Don't worry, I was dogsitting at my sister's, so it's not like I  borrowed some stranger's shoes.  Although I might as well have.  That was a huge mistake.  I have the worst blisters on my heels STILL.  I got up this morning (it's now Monday) at 4:15 to get ready for my Monday a.m. fitness class and when it came time to put my shoes on it killed so badly.  I couldn't do it.  Lesson 3 learned: be careful changing up shoes!

So Saturday was probably the worst run I've had so far but it was also the farthest distance I've gone so far, so what an accomplishment!  (That's me trying see the good and think positively...)

Like I mentioned, I missed my fitness class this morning but there was no way I could skip running tonight since I didn't run yesterday.  So tonight I slapped some band-aids on a sucked it up for one of my best runs yet.  Tonight was awesome.  HARD, but I did it.  The only regret I have from today is that I didn't slap on the band-aids and suck it up at 4:15 this morning and make it to my class.  Really missed it.  Won't miss that again.


Monday, July 9, 2012


Hey blog friends!  It's been a little while, huh? 

Well, the half marathon is 21 weeks away and I'm right on target with my training.  HOWEVER, I'm totally frustrated today.  My run today was awful.  In fact, the last few times I've run have seemed so hard.  Today I just feel like I'm not getting any better.  Granted, each week I run more and walk/rest less.  I guess I just need to focus on that fact.  I just feel like I need a breakthrough, you know?  I want to really feel like and notice that I'm getting better.  It's so hard to keep going when you're discouraged, but I refuse to let that get me down.  I'll be better tomorrow...I'm just grouchy about it today.  :)

I started some cross training. Started yoga and a new fitness class on Monday mornings that includes cardio and full body strength and toning.  I'm loving both!  I'm hoping that my class this morning may be part of the reason my run tonight seemed so hard.  My legs are SO tired!  I may have to rework my run schedule if I keep up this Monday morning class.  I'm super excited about my cross-training and hope this might help to give me that breakthrough I'm looking for. 

I'm lucky to have a super awesome support system full of people offering nonstop words of encouragement.  I have an awesome marathoner friend cheering me on and two really good friends training alongside me.  There's no chance of giving's just not an option.  I just hate feeling discouraged!

Sorry for the negative nancy post, but thanks for listening!  Hopefully the next one will be much better!


Friday, June 29, 2012

Allow Me To Introduce

Wow...three blog posts in three days!  Sorry for the overkill, but I really want y'all to meet the person responsible for my half marathon training/obsession.  (Some of you already know her.)  I met Christin through a mutual friend at a happy hour and although I thought she was a cool chick, I never imagined she'd have me running a year or so later!  ME...running!  She's a marathoner and has given me such great advice, awesome tips, and run alongside me when I was struggling with a simple mile (she can run 26.2...a mile is absolutely nothing to her).

When I get discouraged or just want to reignite my excitement I go back and read her running story.  It's SO inspiring.  I just now read it again, which prompted this post, and cried.  Again.  You can check out her story here.  Please go read it!  I promise you it will inspire you whether you've been running for years, are just getting started on your journey, or are even just thinking about starting to run.

Thanks, Christin, for all of your support!  I can't wait for December 1st!


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Some Cool Articles

I really, really wanted to run today but it's my rest day and considering the severe cramping last night I thought it best to really take this rest day...even though I didn't like it!  Who is this girl that still wants to workout even when she has a legitimate excuse not to?!

So I thought I'd spend some time this evening researching how to avoid the terrible pain I felt last night.  I got some great tips from friends that I'll definitely put into place.  I also found this article on  One of my friends that responded to my last blog post said I may be suffering from cramps due to the heat, and this article talks about that -- symptoms, prevention, etc.  It also goes into other heat related illnesses and how to prevent those.  Really good article for anyone taking up or continuing running this summer.

I also came across this article on the same website.  It gives awesome tips for hot weather running, including how to acclimate yourself to the heat, which is great for new runners like me.  My favorite tip from this article is the "drink an icee or smoothie before your run" tip!

One more article I want to share and then I'm done:  This article, also from, gives some really great tips on how to run regularly.  I can honestly say some of these tips have really helped me keep going.  Setting goals, sharing important.  I think I've mentioned before that the news of my half marathon training has spread like wildfire and there's not a day that goes by that somebody isn't asking me how training is going, even people I run into that I haven't seen in months.  So if I give up...ALL those people are going to know it!

I know everyone's running experience is different, but hopefully these articles share a little something you can use in your training.  I'm learning so much about running and about myself during my training.  I love it!

Anybody else have any other tips to share that may not have been included in these articles? 


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Holy Leg Cramps!

Y'all, it's midnight.  I have to work tomorrow.  I should totally be asleep.  I am in bed, but I had to blog about this.  I just had the absolute worst leg cramps of my entire life.  Not just a charlie horse in my calves, although I'm getting those, too.  These were in the tops of my legs and literally brought me to tears.  I have a fairly high pain tolerance, but this was bad! 

I ran today, and despite getting off to a rough start, thanks to cramps in my calves, it was a pretty decent run.  I stretched afterwards like normal and for some reason I'm feeling pain that I feel like could compare to natural childbirth.  Seriously, y'all, it HURTS!  SO, any advice??  I've done all I know to do.  I eat good amounts of green vegetables and bananas, foods that contain potassium.  I stretch after every run.  I've tried heat.  I've tried ice.  What else?  Should I maybe start a potassium supplement even though I feel like I eat plenty of potassium containing foods? 

I know there are plenty of you out there that have gone through this, and it may seem petty, but I promise you...there's not a lot of pain that will bring me to tears...and I mean flowing tears.  But this has!  Any suggestions are appreciated!!


Monday, June 25, 2012

hot Hot HOT!!

Sweet Jesus it is hot outside!

I really regret that I haven't been blogging much.  I feel like I only post when I'm pumped and excited about running and not so much when I'm discouraged.  Probably for fear of sounding like a complainer.  But I really want to be able to come back to this blog after the big race and see exactly how I felt, good and bad, throughout training.  So I'm going to do my best to start blogging more often.  Feel free to unfollow if my complaining gets on your nerves.  :)

So, since I'm complaining, can we talk about how HOT it is??  Saturday's run was awful.  AWFUL.  I didn't get out there as early as I'd hoped, so it was the heat of the day and I thought I was going to die.  Summer time, even with this Memphis heat, has always been my favorite time of year.  But while I'm running all I can do is look forward to fall and winter.  So unlike me...but hey, so is running.  :)  So...either early morning or way later evening runs from now on.  And lots of water.

Enough complaining...I have to tell y'all about a fabulous conversation I had the other day.  Friday I was having dinner with some girlfriends and found out that one of them has run the St. Jude half marathon in the past.  (How did I not know this??)  We talked all night about her experience and just listening to her was amazing.  I literally had chills running up my arms and tears running down my face.  She talked about the people there cheering her on the whole way, the St. Jude patients and their families with "thank you" signs, her friends and family waiting at the finish line...y'all I'm tearing up right now typing this.  I called my mama the next day to make sure she was going to be there waiting for me at the finish line...then cried some more.  I absolutely CANNOT wait for December.


Monday, June 18, 2012

It's Been A While

Hey, y'all!  It's been a little while since I've blogged.  Sorry!  First things first, several people have asked about the training program I'm using.  You can find that program here.  I really like it because it literally starts you from the running at all.  It's a 24 week program, so if you start it this week you'll be able to run a half marathon when I do in December!  Do it!

So yeah, 24 week program.  24 weeks til race day.  If I was ever going to slack off I should have already done it.  It's way too late now!  I'm so excited.  And can we please talk about accountability??  Thanks to blogging, facebook, twitter, and word of mouth I don't go anywhere that I'm not asked how my training is going.  I was out after a wedding Saturday and saw a friend I hadn't seen in a good long while.  The first thing he said to me was, "So I hear you're running a half marathon!"  I love that!

Training is going well.  I'm up to three miles now.  WOW...I know that's not much but I never thought I'd say that!  Supposed to up it to 4 this week.  Wish me luck!  Let me just say, I LOVE summer time.  Even in Memphis.  Love the sun, love the heat, love summer.  But it is really hard to get used to running in this heat!  It's a good thing I'm building up to it!

I promise not to wait so long before I blog again.  Talk to you soon!



Monday, June 4, 2012

Week 2...WOO!

Before I talk running...y'all MUST go over to my friend's blog and check out her awesome giveaway!  Alicia Klein is giving away a super cute Tour One Wallet via friend's blog.  Click here to check it out!

SO.  I started week 2 of training and so far it's not much different from week 1.  Later in the week I'll add a mile to the run, but for now I'm still just doing two. 

I have to be honest.  Last week was tough.  I'm talking "what-was-I-thinking-I'm-not-a-runner" tough.  Of course, I probably have that thought during the beginning of every run.  Then I finish and I'm glad I'm sticking with it.  I did decide, though, that I have to do something different.  I'm to the point right now that I don't feel like it's getting any easier, and that's a great way to become discouraged.  I think I mentioned before that I bought some new running clothes.  I do love running in my new clothes!  I feel so legit and they really are cooler (like temperature-wise) than what I was running in.  But obviously new clothes aren't going to magically make running easier.  It's no secret that nutrition plays a huge role in athletic performance.  But I didn't realize how big of a role until tonight's run.  I've been extremely dedicated to healthy nutrition the last couple of days.  I have researched and researched on the best way to both fuel for a run and lose weight.  Y'all, in just the couple of days I've stuck with this, it made the biggest difference in my running!  I could run farther, run faster, and just felt all around better the whole time.  I'm quite sure I could have kept on running tonight if it hadn't been for the HUGE hill I didn't take into account at the very end of my run.  (I'm dogsitting this week so I ran a trail I've never run before.  Probably should have checked it out ahead of time!)

Tomorrow I'm going to buy new running shoes.  Super excited about that.  Look out, 13.1.  You're going down!


Friday, June 1, 2012

Six Months til Race Day!

June 1, 2012...exactly 6 months til my very first half marathon!  While I'm only in my first official week of training and only running two miles right now, I'm so super pumped!  Week one has been going well.  Memphis even got a break from the ridiculously hot weather, which made running even more awesome. 

Since signing up for a half marathon pretty much means I'm married to running for the next six months I actually went out and bought real running clothes.  I feel so legit now!  Let me just say, it is hard to find real running clothes for bigger people.  Reebok is about the only line I could find clothes to really fit me well.  So I think even when I'm a professional marathoner and super skinny, I'm totally going to endorse them.  ;)

I'm in the process now of finding some good cross-training for when I'm not running.  I've read that yoga is really good.  What kind of cross-training do y'all do?

I still can't believe I'm doing this.  It's so unlike me.  But how does the saying go?  "If you always do what you've done, you'll always get what you've gotten."  And I'm not willing to settle for that.  I'm still so nervous, but so SO excited!  I can't wait to finish the race and then read this blog from the beginning.  How fun will that be??


Monday, May 28, 2012

Week 1, Day 1

Ok, so I officially started the half marathon training program I mentioned in my first post.  I counted back 24 weeks from my race date and the training would have officially started on June 18th, but I didn't figure it could hurt to get a two week head start.  Besides, I've been running for a few months anyways.  No need to stop now.

Week 1, day 1: start with a 5 minute walk to warm up, then run for 30 seconds and walk for 60 seconds until you reach two miles.  As I mentioned before, I'm already a little ahead of the game and can run well passed 30 seconds.  I'm comfortable, though, with the two mile part, so I decided I'd just run the two miles as best I could, stopping to walk as needed. 

I've come to enjoy running different trails and at different parks.  The little animals you pass, the ponds/lakes, the all gives off a sense of serenity that I'm convinced helps me through my runs.  But y'all, when you're seeing poor little frogs and worms that have literally fried to death on the asphalt before making it back to the dirt, you know it's summer time in Tennessee.  In other words, it was HOT!  I made it through, though, and I'm so proud of myself for doing so.  One thing I learned from today's run: take the water with you no matter what! I had it in my car but thought to myself, "It's only two miles, I'll be fine."  I even observed other runners that didn't have water with them.  Well, y'all, those other runners are in WAY better shape than me!  And maybe a little bit dumb.  (Haha)  But seriously, From now on I'll have my water bottle with me on these hot days no matter how short the distance.

I keep up with my time, distance, etc. on the RunnerKeeper app on my phone.  It works well enough and I like it because when I have my headphones in it'll break through my music every 5 minutes to let me know my time, distance, and average pace.  So I know if I need to step it up or even slow it down.  I'm sure they all probably do that, this is just the one I came across first.  I think a friend actually recommended it to me a year ago when I thought I was going to be a runner. ;)  I'm embarrassed to say that it took me over 30 minutes to do those two miles.  I stopped to walk several times and I want to blame that on the heat, so I'm gonna!  I won't lie, during the run I was discouraged.  I asked myself (again) what in the world I was thinking for signing up for that half marathon.  But being at home now and resting I'm so happy I did.  Even if I don't run the whole thing in December, signing up has given me just the push I need to keep running.  And I know it gets easier.  I can't even begin to describe how much easier it already is from when I started running in February. 

Lastly, I just want to comment on the people I passed while running this morning.  Every single person was so friendly!  It was so refreshing.  I purposely went to a trail that I felt like was secluded enough and that not many people knew about so I didn't have to worry about feeling self conscious while I was running (yep, still feel that way).  Well, the joke was on me because that trail was pretty hoppin'!  But like I said, everyone was so friendly smiling, waving, saying good morning.  I loved it.

Now, if you'll excuse me I'm going to reward myself with lunch (a healthy one, of course) and some time by the pool.  Just as soon as I can pull myself up off my couch.  ;)

Friday, May 25, 2012

So, why running?

 The fact of the matter is, I need to get in shape.  Y'all, my dad passed away when I was 8 years old.  He was 38.  In April of this year I turned 33.  How scary is that??  I'm 5 short years from being the age my daddy was when he passed away.  It's way past time to do something. (Now that y'all are aware of that, feel free to use this tidbit of info to push me harder!)

So, why running?  You mean besides the fact that I have a fabulous friend/neighbor that inspired me and helped me get started?'s the most convenient.  Period.  I don't have to have a gym membership.  I don't have to drive anywhere to be somewhere appropriate to do my workout.  There's no appropriate time.  I can literally just open my apartment door and take off whenever I want/have time.  And because it's so convenient, I can make no excuses.  I love that. many fat runners do  you see out there?  Not many!  Not any. 

Oddly, whenever I would think about working out running was always the first thing that came to my mind.  Don't know why.  Not good at it.  Just something I always thought I should try.  So that must mean it's somewhere in my heart, right?! 

I've really come to like it a lot.  Like almost love it.  Almost.  ;) 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Blogging.  I've never done it.  So don't be discouraged by my crappy layout and first few posts...I promise I'll get better!  I may be more nervous about this blog than I am about the half marathon I signed up for.  Seriously.

Ok, so.  I signed up for a half marathon.  Quite possibly the craziest thing I've ever done. I've been running for about 3 months but haven't trained near as much as I should, so I'm pretty much starting from scratch.  I have a fabulous friend that helped and inspired me to get started with the whole running thing and that's the same friend that talked me into signing up for this half.  It's so nice to have someone believe in you...even when you're not so sure of yourself.  When I posted on twitter that I had signed up for the race, the words of encouragement were just overwhelming.  Another friend suggested I blog about my journey, so here I am.

Y'all, I am OUT OF SHAPE.  Out of shape, overweight...I have a LONG way to go!  The first thing I did after I signed up for the race was research different half marathon training programs.  I take that back.  The first thing I did after I signed up was panic...then I researched different half marathon training programs.  There are about a million different training programs for "beginners" to train for half marathons and they all start the same:  Day 1 - Run 3 miles.  Ummm...hello?  Does the word BEGINNER mean anything to you?  I finally found a program on that was a true "couch to half marathon" program.  Day 1 - run for 30 seconds, walk for 60 seconds until you've gone 2 miles.  Ok, that I can handle.  Actually...thanks to the last few months I'm starting several weeks into this program.  My race date is December 1, 2012.  Yep, I only have about 6 months.  But like I said, the support and words of encouragement have been awesome. I've had a few people (2 to be exact) act like it wasn't going to happen for me...which just makes me want it more.  Time to kill it.

I look forward to getting this journey started.  I'm blogging to welcome any words of encouragement or advice anyone may have, and maybe even to inspire others.  It's going to be a long 6 months, but I'm so excited about it!

I promise as time goes on to make this blog more creative, add pictures, etc.  I'm still wrapping my hands around the whole blogging thing, so I welcome advice there as well!