Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Heart Check

WOW!!  It's been a while since I have wrote.  I probably have 5 unfinished unpublished posts.

So let me update everyone who may be interested:

As far as my training goes, it has been lacking.  The weather in Georgia dropped and I began to train in the cold.  I am pretty sure I didn't cover up as much as I should have because within the first week of running in 30 degree mornings I GOT SICK!!!!  Since then I have been doing light treadmill runs, afternoon runs (if hubby is home) but mostly just resting.  It's a throat, cough, congestion headache yuckiness and I am really frustrated because I feel like I am loosing the fitness that I have worked so hard to gain!!!!

 Of course, in this time of being still... God has a plan and it is GOOD!! Here comes the honesty and the heart check that I am so thankful for.  Running is a passion of mine as you all know.  I have BIG dreams, dreams that I feel I CAN accomplish.  I want to train, I want to get faster, I so want to accomplish these BIG dreams.  So much that my runs have become more of a time of stress rather than a release of it.  My mind then turns into worry mode and I start caving, feeling like the weight is too much and that I really cant do this. So He needed to make me STILL.  So that I could refocus, rethink things... listen to His voice!!!
I tear up writing this because He cares for me so much that He takes the time to stop me in my worry.  He even reminded me of His promises towards me on Sunday through a friend from church.  So now that I am feeling a bit better, I am ready to continue this journey with Him with a refreshed heart, mind and body.
I plan to run a Thanksgiving run in my area called the Gobble Jog.  I will be running the 10k.  The race is really close to my home (for now) so I can actually train on the course which is helpful.  This race will be purely a fun run... a race that I can truly run with my heart and be thankful for how far I have come.


 Races for 2013 (So far) 
Hot Chocolate 5k in January
Locomotive Half Marathon Feb 17
Country Music Marathon April 27

What excites me the most is that I will be training with a coach!!! I am so honored to have the opportunity to train with her. She has truly been an inspiration to me.  She is amazing. (I will be writing more about my new coach in a later post.) I will begin training for the marathon in December.

Did I mention I was going to be in Women's Running Magazine??? I hesitantly entered my running/weigh loss story a while back as they were searching for women to be in their weight loss edition.  I emailed the writer and thought nothing of it, but I figured it was worth a try.  My heart is to inspire other women with my story.  About a month ago, I was emailed back by the writer stating she wanted to feature me!!! I interviewed over the phone the next week!!! This experience was even more precious as I was able to include a very close friend of mine (a sister really) Cheryl to be my photographer!! It was a moment in both of our lives where we both felt a change.  We share a very close bond as we both suffered losing loved ones and helped, prayed and cried together.  So being able to have her a part of this experience of being in a magazine was just amazing!! Here are some pics of us: I have known Chery since I was 18 years old. 

This was taken in 2009 when we moved to GA
Hilton Head July 2011


We have been very close friends. She has been a support throughout this whole journey.  And as God would have it, living in the same area now. :) When taking the pictures, I felt at times very emotional, I have seen her grow and blossom into an amazing women. I am so excited to see what the Lord will do with her life.  She captured some very great pictures.  The writer was very impressed with her work.  I am so very blessed with her forever friendship.

 One event that just happened over the weekend (Sunday after church)  We are MOVING!!! We had been praying that God would open up a place for us to live in East Cobb where our church,  good friends, and good school districts are.  My husband prayed to God and told Him what we could afford out loud while we started driving around.  We passed right by our church and turned down a street we had only been down once when taking our girls to a friend of ours house to babysit for us.  I remember when we drove down that road how beautiful I thought it was, secluded with more of a country feeling.  I even in my mind thought it would be nice to run down  that area.  So when we turned down the same street again, I saw a For Rent sign and told my husband to turn so that we could find the house.  This was after we had seen about 4 houses in the area way above our price range and had already felt like this search was hopeless.  The house had a very large front yard.  I could see a white picket fence surrounding the backyard and screened in porch.  My husband called the number on the sign and asked about the house.  To his surprise, the price was what we had prayed for.  So we asked if we could look inside.  We we allowed and took our girls out of the car and into the house.  Immediately when we entered there was a big kitchen with an island in the middle.  A living area with a fireplace.  Upstairs 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms (one in the master bedroom) THEN we opened a door which went downstairs to the basement and there were 2 extra rooms!! We went outside to the backyard and it was a very nice backyard.  We instantly fell in love with the house.   At that time, we did not have the funds to move in and now today (Wednesday) WE DO!! We will be moving into our new home within a month!!  I am so excited and in awe of God's provision and blessing.  Looking forward to running in a new area. :)

After we get settled in to our new home, we will be leaving to visit family in WA and TX.  So excited for this new chapter in our lives!!!

Here is a pic of us on Halloween, My girls were princesses and I was a marathon runner!! :)
Got my Brooks Nightlife gear on! LOL

So now that I have shared all that is going on in my life.  I am very happy and excited for this year to come.  I am moving into a new season in my life where seclusion, sadness and depression no longer exists.  I am thankful that God is faithful in all things.  I am thankful that He cares for me in all seasons and walks me through the storms and the sunshine. Last year, I was hopeless, the holidays always leave me depressed not to mention the anniversary of losing our twins is in Dec.  I am thankful that this year, God has physically taken me to new grounds with new dreams and passions. This year will be different and I am so excited to share with you all!!  






Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Instead Softcup Challenge (FOR LADIES ONLY)

 Before I start this review, I just want inform readers that I am reviewing Instead SoftCup, which is Period (Menstrual) protection.  I WILL GO INTO DETAILS!!! 

 So I was really excited when I came across an opportunity to give Instead Softcup a try through a blog I LOVE called For the Love of the Run. This is how the challenge works: I receive free samples of the Instead Softcup, I give them a try during a menstrual cycle and review them on my blog. In return, Instead Softcup reimburses me the cost of a race registration!!  So even though I received the samples for free, the review expressed below is 100% my opinion. :) So here it goes...

When I ran in high school, I had used pads until a friend of mine introduced me to tampons, I found that when I wore them, I was a bit uncomfortable and if I didn't have the right ones, I would leak.  I also noticed that I would begin feeling nauseous, not sure why.  When I stopped running, I would normally use pads, even though of course they were not the most comfortable, they were better than leaking and feeling sick.  Since I started running again, I realized when running longer, pads would not work, so I went and bought a box of tampons.  It just always seemed like the only other option.  I dealt with the same issues when running: feeling uncomfortable, nauseous and fear of leakage.  I reached my last straw when I ran 10 miles with the half marathon group a month ago and had a very bad experience.  I decided then I would start researching other options and really wanted to see what other women long distance runners where using instead of tampons.  That is when I came across Instead and the Softcup challenge.


They came in the mail right away and I instantly opened up the box it came in.  There was a paper that explained the challenge and a month/2 month supply of Softcups (depending on your cycle)
I decided to open up the Softcup box and take out one Softcup...

















It came nicely sealed in a small purple wrapping, just as a pad or tampon comes in.  Before I opened the wrapping I decided to open up the pamphlet that came along (which one of my girls had already looked through if you notice the wrinkled pamphlet!! ) It came with all the information I needed.  Here is some of the information I read:
 It start off with a question:  How does Softcup compare to tampons and pads?
-Softcup  can be worn for up to 12 hours!!
-Softcup is comfortable
-Softcup provides leakfree protection that doesn't interrupt a woman's life

-Softcup can be worn overnight.
-When place properly, it cannot be felt when wearing
-It can be worn during sports and swimming
-It eliminates menstrual odor (flow not exposed to air)
-Is not associated with Toxic Shock Syndrome
-Does not contain residues of bleach, pesticide or dioxins
-Can be a comfortable solution for women that experience heavy or irregular heavy or irregular periods.
 Softcup is approved by the FDA.  It is made from a non-absorbent, non- irritating medical grade material that has been used for more than 20 years in the healthcare industry and in medical device such as baby bottle nipples and catheters. It does NOT contain latex, silicone or dioxins.  It is BPA-free and contains NO residual fibers, bleach, pesticides carcinogens or PCBs.

"There are no strings and no wings"

More than 100 million Softcups have been sold since the products introduction in 1996, and there has NEVER been a reported incidence of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). 

I had to wait about a week to officially use the SoftCups.  I have to admit I was kinda nervous trying something new.  The pamphlet also came with a "how to" page with illustrations, I, of course read the how to a couple of times before I was confident that I could insert correctly.


Here are the steps:
1.) With clean hands, and sitting on the toilet (which is the recommended position) Hold Softcup so that the bottom of the cup hangs down.

  Squeeze the opposite sides of the rim together.



2.) Keeping the rim squeezed together, Insert Softcup completely into your vagina.  When you are sitting, your vaginal canal is horizontal, sloping slightly downward and back as far as it will go.  It will slide into place under the cervix and behind the pubic bone.

3.) The Softcup then conforms to your internal shape, forming a personal shape.  When inserted properly, you shouldn't feel it. Softcup fits in the natural space under the cervix and next to your pubic bone. If you feel something in the vaginal canal, the cup is not placed far enough inside of you.  

Okay so I started on Saturday night.  I decided I would give the Softcup a try while going to church the next morning.
 Sunday
 After relaxing and rereading the instructions carefully I inserted the soft cup.  Then continued on with getting my girls ready for church.  It didn't hurt but it did feel a bit uncomfortable.  When I came home, I did not have any leakage whatsoever, but I felt like I may have not inserted it all the way. I decided to take it out and try it again.

Here are the directions for taking the Softcup out:
 4.) To remove Softcup, sit on the toilet with your knees apart.  Insert your finger into the vagina.  Feel your pubic bone- the Softcup rim will be right behind it.  Hook your finger under the rim.  Slowly pull Softcup out of your body keeping it horizontal and level.  Do not pull down like you would with a tampon, as this can lead to spillage. Place the Softcup inside the wrapper or wrap it in tissue and throw away.

So after reading the directions. I went on ahead and took the Softcup out.  I think since I was a bit nervous, I did not pull it out correctly and I did get  (SORRY)... blood on my fingerI also didn't have anything prepared for when I was going to throw it away so that was another messy issue.

 I went on ahead and inserted another Softcup.  I made sure I pushed it as far as it would go and began getting ready for the rest of my day.  My girls and I planned on going back to church for a Fun Fest, where there was Inflatables playgrounds, games, food and some good music.  I did go to the restroom a couple of times to check on the Softcup... well that and I have 2 toddlers that go potty now. :) I had no run planned for Sunday but I did chase after my girls a couple of times!! Here is a pic of Hope:



 When we arrived home, I got my girls ready for bed and when they went to bed, I went on ahead and decided to see how the Softcup was holding up.  I decided I would go on ahead and replace it. (I also wanted to practice taking it out as the first attempt was a mess. :(  I wore a panty liner just in case, but again, didn't have any leaks!!  This time I had the wrap prepared and my hand was more stable taking it out so there was no mess but still a little blood on the tip of my finger. My cycle was pretty heavy this month and I contemplated whether I should attempt to wear a softcup overnight.  After thinking it over, I decided I would go on ahead and give it a try.
 Monday
The next morning, lets say I slept about 6/7 hours.  Hope woke me up as she always does by climbing all over me in bed.  I got up as I always do and did my normal routine (which usually leads me to the kitchen.) As I was in the kitchen getting some breakfast made, I remembered about the Softcup and ran to the restroom.  I wore a panty liner again, but there was no leakage!! Awesome!!! I got everything prepared to take out and was more confident in taking it out and was successful this time... No mess!! Woohooo!!!  I decided that I would go on ahead and try to wear the Softcup for 12 hours.  I went on a 4 mile run that morning and could not even feel it!! Total comfort while running!! I got home showered, and went on with my day.  I really think that I had placed it properly on that day because I did not feel it all day.  I put the Softcup in at 9 in the morning.  I also put on a pantyliner (just in case) All day when I went to the restroom, I would check my pantyliner and had NO leakage.  When 9 P.M came around I was ready to take the Softcup out.  When I went to the restroom to take it out after my girls were in bed, there was a little bit of spotting on my pantyliner but not a lot.  I made sure to have the wrapper prepared and also took my time taking it out.  I had already prepared myself for a mess and there was a little bit of blood but not like the first day that I had tried it.  I then did the same thing, wore one overnight with no problems.
 Tuesday
 I had decided I would wear the Softcup for 6 hours instead of 12. I ran 4 easy miles in the morning and went about my day with no issues, no pain, no sickness, no leakage.  
 Wednesday
By day 4 I felt like I perfected the insertion of the Softcup and really liked that I could not feel anything!! I didn't feel sick,  I ran 6 miles and again had no leakage.  The only thing that I have not perfected is taking it out but I do think if I keep on practicing I will get it right.

I had intended to go on a long run on the 5th day but my cycle had already finished.  It seemed like this time it was a very heavy/short cycle.  I am definitely gonna need to add to this review when I do run 10+ miles next month.  In conclusion, I have to say that I really like Instead Softcups, When they are placed properly, you seriously forget you are on your period. I had no leakage during this trial.  When wearing tampons, I was always so paranoid that I had leaked through, and some times I did.  With Softcup, the only time there was a little leakage (spotting) was when I tried it for 12 hrs.
Running with the Softcup was awesome because again, there was so pain/ discomfort and no leakage.  As I mentioned before, the only issue I had was taking it out but that to me, is a small thing and the pros totally outweigh the one con I experienced.  Like any new thing, of course it does take time to get used to inserting/taking out the Softcup, I know that for some that may consider giving it a try, it will take time.  I was so ready to try something different.  I DON'T LIKE tampons!! I look forward to continuing my use of Instead Softcup.  I will be officially starting marathon training in a couple of months!!  I'm excited to run longer mileage and happy that I will be using Softcup along the way.  With that said, I normally run with a 20oz.  handheld water bottle (Amphipod)  This handheld bottle has a pocket to store keys, gels..etc, I decided to place a Softcup in the pocket to see how well it fits:




 It fit nicely since the Softcup is compact and flat, lots of space left for gels, keys, etc!!


 Did I mention that softcup can be worn during intercourse?? Yup it can.

If you would like more information, don't hesitate to ask me questions or you can check out their website: http://www.softcup.com/  and "Like" their Facebook Page





Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Allstate 13.1 in the Books

I did it!!! I ran my very first half marathon.  It was an AMAZING experience!!!
 So I guess I will start from the beginning... One word of advice: DO NOT drink coffee the day before the race... epecially if you haven't really drank coffee in the last couple of weeks!! I had no idea a small 8 oz. cup would have me bouncing off the walls all day (and night.)  Pre-race jitters and caffeine DO NOT MIX!! My main focus for the week before was eating right and hydrating ALOT.  By race day, I felt very well hydrated and ready to go.  My husband was so sweet and left work early so that he could put our girls to bed and I could get to bed super early as well.  Of course with the caffiene and excitement, I laid on my bed with my eyes wide open.  After an hour of laying in bed, I went to bug my husband who, sent me back to bed. I finally laid in bed and was able to relax a bit.  I closed my eyes and tried to envision myself crossing the finish line. I prayed to God and thanked Him for bringing me to this moment in my life.
The morning came very quickly... I had my alarm wake me up at 3:45 in the morning.  The race was in Town Brookhaven (Atlanta) and my husband wanted to park really close to where the race was starting and finishing before they closed the roads.  We left the house at about 5a.m.  My girls were both up and in a good mood, thank God. I really loved where the race was because there were many places for food/coffee and a Publix supermarket right across the street.  This was really helpful to my hubby who had 2 toddlers who are going potty now. :)  I had plenty of time to warm up, stretch and visit the porta potties before the lines were super long.  It was great weather.  It was in the mid 50's the whole way through. I had planned on wearing shorts and a tank top along my my compression sleeves.  I also wore a very light long sleeve shirt before the race started and was planning on throwing to to my husband as I ran by.  I ended up taking it off before the race even started.I lined up in back of the 2:20 pace group.  My last decision before the race began was whether I should run with or without music.  I had ran only a couple of times with music during training, but I finally decided to take it along with me.  I realized that I would need a way to focus and stay mentally positive during the 13.1 miles.  I have to say that it was a great decision!! I listened to worship music the whole way through.  The music kept my perspective on point, it also allowed me to focus on God and how awesome He has been in my life.  Running to me, is a form or worship, where others may sing, paint, etc... I run.  He has been my running partner this whole time and I couldn't have done it without His presence.
My goal was to run the race in 2:20.  The course was tough in some places because of hills but it was so beautiful. There were so many people along the course and many water stops/portapotties.  I ran with my amphipod handheld water bottle so I really didn't need to stop.  In the neighborhood areas, there were little kids with their own little water stops as well, which I thought was so cute!! The course was very scenic, I focused on the beauty of the course rather than the hills.  Most of the time I just focused on the worship music I was listening to.   The last stretch was a straight road that seemed like it was neverending.  I tried to keep my eyes focused on my steps rather that how far I had to go.  I had about a mile to go, I was almost there!! I told God all I wanted was to finish strong.  I knew that the "kick" I had been training for needed to come out and finish this race.  I don't know how fast that last mile was but I ran as fast as I could, I kept on reminding myself I had worked hard and believing that I would finish strong. It was tough, but the adrenaline pushed me forward.  When I crossed the finish line, I raised my hands up to the Lord and thanked Him. I thought of my babies in heaven and dedicated the race to them. I then looked around and saw my hubby and my girls, he was holding a sign up and had a single rose for me!!

This pic was right after I crossed the finish line!!



 I can't begin to express the feeling of crossing that finish line... it felt AMAZING!!! I teared up a bit as I continued to walk to meet my husband at the end of the race line.  I did it, I ran my very first half marathon and I finished strong!!!  Immediately after I met my husband and huged and kissed him and my girls, I started to feel sore, cold and achy.  I drank a chocolate milk that they were giving to the runners and covered up.  We stood there and waited to meet up with the rest of the Back on My Feet crew.  It was a great feeling to see the rest of the group finish and share our stories of the course, etc.  Here is a pic that was taken of my family... Gracie was done with taking pictures at this point. Poor Baby!!
My beautiful family, Gracie is ready for food and a nap!! 

We walked around the booths and I was able to meet with the founder of Moms Run this Town, Pam Burrus, which was really cool!! I also saw the marathoner who ran with me a while back at Silver Comet!!! He ran the race as well, I noticed him right away as he passed by me during the race, I really wanted to find and say hello to him, he was so helpful and so encouraging.  He surprisingly remembered me and I was able to introduce him to my family, he asked about my time and told me by next year I should be running the half in 2:00 or less!! We talked for a bit and said our goodbyes, he runs all the races, so I'm very sure we will meet again.  Then the Back on my Feet crew got together for a pic:

BACK ON MY FEET
 After we took the pic, I decided I wanted to see what my official time was.  I got in line, stretched a little and talked to a few others in line about the race.  Everyone that I spoke to really enjoyed it and had nothing negative to say, it truely was a great race.  I went up said my name and bib number and the gentleman says: Jessica Messer 2:18.09!!!!   I have to say I did not even think I broke 2:20 when I crossed the finish line so when he told me my time, then wrote it down for me, I stood there for a minute and gazed at it!! I ran to my Terran and gave him the paper, He immediately said "WHAT??!!!" and we hugged and I cried a little bit or maybe a lot!! It was the best moment ever!!!! Even though I did not really tell much people about my time goal, it was something I was really hoping to accomplish, and I did it!!!

Allstate 13.1 Finisher


I was really sore the past couple of days, I made sure to get lots of sleep, spend time stretching and rolling.  Today I am walking normally, whereas the past couple of days I looked like a robot. My confidence has grown by this experience. I am more than excited to start training again and prepare myself for future races. My faith in God is on fire and I am ready to continue to run for Him and chase after my dream of becoming a marathoner!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

One Week to Go!!!


Well, this next week is going to be exciting!! I'm almost certain I will have a hard time sleeping most nights.  At this point, I am waiting for it to sink in.  I have 3 more training runs to go until I have completed my training plan. I really enjoyed following Hal Higdon's intermediate half marathon plan. 
 So this past week went well, I did have a hard time waking up in the mornings but the thought of being so close to finishing the plan was enough to get out of bed.  I experienced my first cold morning on Tuesday and survived, I'm really gonna have to gear up for the winter runs if I wanna stay off the treadmill all winter. I ran  6 miles on Saturday with Back on my Feet in Atlanta and felt great.  I am always encouraged and inspired by this group.  I truly am honored to be running with and representing an amazing group of people on Sunday.  I thank my friend Barry for introducing me to the group.  I really don't think I would be pursuing my dream with as much passion had I not joined this group.
I really dont have much to write because as I said before, I am still waiting for it to sink in.  It probably won't sink in until I've crossed the finish line!!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Today is my Birthday

 I am 28 years old today.  I am very happy to say that at the age of 28, I feel better than I have ever felt before.  I am strong, healthy and happy.  My birthday really started off yesterday.  My church had a night of worship and prayer.  I sang to Jesus and reflected on the things I have been through in the past couple of years.  My heart was so full of thankfulness.  The past couple of years have been tough and there were days where I didn't know how I would get through the depression.  And here I am, stronger than ever.  I'm gonna be honest, I cried alot during the service, but it was happy tears.  Even in my darkest hours, God was there.  He carried me through those times.  He blessed me with great friends.  Friends that have been there for me during those times.  Friends that encouraged me and prayed for me along the way. I have a very thankful heart. I feel so blessed today.  May I never forget the what He has brought me out of. May my heart always remember and share His power in my life.
This morning when my girls jumped on our bed as they always do, My husband told the girls that it was my birthday, they both sang Happy Birthday to me, then Gracie decided she wanted to sing a running song to me!! LOL it makes me so happy to know that my 3 year old knows my passion for running. I pray that I can inspire my daughters to pursue their dreams in life with  passion, determination and diligence.


On Saturday, I ran 13 miles for the very first time. I ran with Back on my Feet.  I had ran 10 miles the past couple of Saturdays and was anxious to run longer to see how I would do.  We ran a practice course run for the Allstate 13.1.  I felt really good up until the 11th mile.  I was running with a fellow Back on my Feet teammate and he really helped coach me through the last miles.  I even had a little bit of strength at the end to finish strong!! I finished my 13 mile run in 2:25.  I have 2 weeks until the half marathon!! I am very excited to finish my training plan.  I have one more set of interval training and a couple more runs to go until race day. 
So I have some exciting news!! For my birthday I was able to sign up for my very first marathon!!! I chose to run the Country Music Marathon in Nashville Tennessee (Rock-n-Roll Series) on April 27, 2013.  I decided on this marathon because I wanted my first marathon to be fun!! This marathon has live bands along the course, it is followed by a free concert in the evening and  Moms Run this Town have a $10 off discount as well.  I have friends that live there and have opened up their homes to my family so that I can go and train on the course. My friend Kradan will also be able to go and cheer me on.  So I took the leap of faith and signed up!! I was so scared to press the button that confirms payment.  I stared at the page for about an hour, texted my husband to see if he really thought I could do this.  He wrote back with words of encouragement... and CLICK, it was done!! I even took a pic:


I can't explain the excitement I got when I saw this.  I cried tears of joy because it was a moment of God's promise coming to reality!! I WILL run a marathon!!   To be able to know that I am working hard toward this dream that I had in high school is so empowering!! A year ago, I remember talking to my best friend Tasha about wanting to start running again and now here I am doing it!! I know it is going to take dedication to wake up early in the morning for long runs. but I am so ready to do it.  I'm so ready to take on this new chapter of my life.  I have an awesome husband, amazing friends and family who love, support and believe in me. So here is to a new year!!!


Thursday, September 6, 2012

6 month anniversary... Running strong!!


AHHHHH, Yesterday was one of those sappy, emotional, reflective days for me and I am TOTALLY embracing it!! 6 months, its been 6 months since I took on this challenge from the Lord, I had no idea what would happen, but WOW it has been such a great experience so far!! I had a 4.75 mile run.  I was not in the mood to wake up in the morning and ended up running a little after 10 A.M.  I was in a funk, so I knew that I HAD to listen to some music while running if I wanted to enjoy it at all.  In honor of 6 months of consistent running, I listened to the album Hillsong Live: A Beautiful Exchange.  I took some time to stretch, fiddled with my armband for my very old school mp3 player (I need an ipod shuffle) and started my Garmin. I began to relax and said hello to a couple of neighbors who I see on a daily basis while running.  I focused more on the music than the run for a bit to get in a better place mentally.  The song: Forever Reign started and as I listened to the song, it immediately overwhelmed me.  This song just really describes my journey with the Lord and running: "I'm running to Your arms, I'm running to Your arms, the riches of Your love will always be enough nothing compares to Your embrace, light of the world forever reign."  Have a listen:


I ran thankful, my heart was just so thankful for God's presence in my life and for how He loves me.  I remember when I started running, the first thing I did was tell everyone, share my story, that way I would be accountable.  That way if I did decide to give up, there would be a support system. This really was the best idea I had, because there were in fact times where I was down and out and had amazing friends who helped me emotionally, helped with shoe selections, gave me running tips, picked me up early for runs, etc... While I ran I thought about all who have been encouraging along the way, from close friends, to fellow runners I've randomly met along the way. Thank you!!
6 months ago, I called up my parents and asked them to look into an shoe box I kept with all my track/cross country medals, in there I had saved a newspaper clipping of the results of the 5k I ran in high school, my mother read it out to me and I typed it into my computer.  First goal... run a 5k in 26 mins.  I've ran 3 5k's:  Sope Creek 5k Fun Run (April 38) 30: 20
Hilton Head 5k  (July 4)  27:25
Back on my Feet Meaningful Miles (Aug 25) 26:44
1st Goal: 26 min. 5k accomplished!! 
This definitely changed the thought in my mind that I could never get back to where I used to be, cause in fact, I am exactly where I used to be time wise in high school and the reality is I'm only gonna get better!! :) Of course I'm not the little skinny girl I was in high school but who cares, I'll take it!!
Gracie's First 1k Race
After I finished the race
My second goal was to run a 10k in September. (6 miles for 6 month anniversary) :)  It so happened to fit perfectly with the training plan that I am following.  I was even able to find a local race very near to where I live.  I ran the Y to Y Labor Day 10k on Sept 3. The great thing about this race is that there was a free 1k for the kids, which I absolutely loved!! Since this was my first 10k since high school and I had no time record of what I ran, I decided I would do a practice run and time myself to see where I was. The race started off at  the NE Cobb YMCA and then ended at the McCleskey YMCA.  I had my awesome husband drop me off and there I went. The course description said it was "mostly flat and fast"  and well, I think now that I've ran a couple of races here in Atlanta, it is safe to say that there will ALWAYS be hills!! There were 2 hills on that course that were NOT FUN and a couple of smaller ones as well, but I got it done!! My time for the practice run was 1:04, which was a 10:25 pace.  So I decided I would shoot for 60 minutes or less.  I had a lot of doubt since the course was pretty challenging.  The day of the race, the weather was nice, I was feeling pretty good.  I decided I was going to just enjoy the race and have a good time. I really didn't feel like I could make my goal while running but I kept on pressing on!! There were times in the race where I wanted to start walking especially after the hills, but I didn't, I stayed strong. I told myself positive things, I even at one point had a Yo Gabba Gabba song about Robots in my head which made me smile. Ahh my girls, my beautiful girls and my amazing husband would be at the finish line!! I'm pretty sure I looked like a crazy women at the end of the race, I tried my hardest to have a kick and I felt myself running fast but I'm not too sure my form looked all that great!! :)  I saw the time and ran my heart out!! Whoo hooo!! :) My time was 58:44 and  I placed first in the women's 20-29 age division!!!
2nd Goal: 60 min. or less 10k  accomplished!
We stayed to watch Gracie and Hope run the kids 1k race, it was so cute watching them run!! The awards were given out right after the kids race.
I really didn't think I would place!! So that was an awesome surprise!! :)
When I ran my first 5k in April I placed 1st as well, God is so good!! It's almost like He's telling me I'm on the right track. I was super tired after the race, I had a reward bacon burger for lunch and then slept.  I really can say that I ran hard this time, I felt stronger mentally, I really feel like the revelation from God about the hills I run made me feel very strong while I ran. It  made me feel like I COULD do it, whenever there was a negative thought or an excuse that came up in my head to slow down, I
One very HAPPY mommy
SHOT IT DOWN IMMEDIATELY!! I really am proud of myself.  These past 6 months have really been an amazing journey.  Can you all believe I am about to run a Half Marathon next MONTH!! I am on Week 8 of a 12 week plan and about to start doing longer runs on Saturdays.  I am already looking at Marathon plans.  I am excited to experience what the next 6 months has in store for me. Just because we are older doesn't mean that the dream is dead.  It just means it will take a little more dedication and perseverance.  If anything, I have learned that because I am older I am stronger than I was before and really do feel like I will be a better runner than I was ever in high school. The circumstances in life have made me emotionally and mentally stronger. Thanks to everyone who reads my blogs, we are on this journey together, I pray that whatever path you are on , whatever dream or goal you have in your heart that this may be a testimony to you that IT IS POSSIBLE to ACHIEVE!!






Sunday, August 26, 2012

Meaningful Miles 5k and Hills

Saturday was a very special day for Back on My Feet Atlanta.  We hosted our very first 5k with one mile honoring each of our partner facilities/teams—a Trinity Mile, a Gateway Mile and a Salvation Army Mile.
I couldnt help to get a little emotional as we circled up.  The whole atmosphere and energy at the race was so amazing!! The weather was perfect as well.  I really didnt have any set goals for this 5k.  I have been trying to stop putting so much pressure on my times, but rather just enjoying the run.  I understand now, that this journey is going to take time, that I will not run my fastest half or marathon the very first time and by accepting that, it has relieved alot of pressure.  I had done a practice run with the group a couple of weeks ago, we did it twice so going into the race I was already familiar with what I was going to face: HILLS!! Oh the lovely Atlanta hills that I WILL learn to LOVE!! There was one hill right at the beginning.  It was tough, I tried not to go to fast up but stayed relaxed, didn't wanna drain my energy on that one hill, I started getting into a comfortable pace and relaxed, looked around, took it all in.  There I asked God to run with me, I didn't want to start feeling pressure, or let my negative thoughts interfere with this race.  Instead I wanted to be joyful, I wanted to run my own race, I wanted to be thankful for this amazing opportunity I had been given to run with this amazing group of people.  Then the other hill, which I was dreading, this time I never looked up directly at the hill, I had a hat on and looked at my feet and the road ahead, I just kept on going, even though I knew the hill was there, I refused to focus on it, instead I took one step at a time, and felt really strong, God immediately used this hill to teach me about faith, about trusting in Him, about my life and how many hills I just had to run up even though I had no idea how hard or long these hills of life would be and how faithful He was in these times in my life.
It's amazing how God can lovingly take the time to show me in running something more about Him. He shows himself in a place where I  hold so much passion in and reveals Himself in a way that my mind and heart can understand.  There, I received his peace. I told every police directing traffic good morning, I looked up at the sky, I listened to others conversations, I saw a really nice running skirt another runner was wearing. Mentally, I felt strong, I told myself that I have been working hard, I've done my speed workouts, I've been consistent.  This would be a good race.  I even had a little bit of "umph" at the end (even though I felt my abs hurting, I need to work on them more.)  When I got to the end and saw the time, I was so happy.  I thanked God, I smiled and just took in the whole experience.  I know it was just a 5k race, but to me it was so much more.  I ran my personal best, even with all those hills, 26:44 (about 20 seconds away from the only recorded 5k time I have from high school.)  I also placed 2nd in my age division and got a bouquet of lollipops I'm sure my girls will love. :)
Post race sweat and glory with Tiffany
After receiving my 2nd place bouquet



















In my last post I wrote about how I had been feeling discouraged and fearful about the marathon and injury.  I had heard that this marathon that I wanna run in March next year is very challenging.  But God showed me, in only a way that He can that the hills in life that I have faced have given me strength, and that the hills in races would be a revelation of the strength I have within.  I am still in awe of His love and promises toward me.  Now, there is nothing in me that fears the marathon, in fact, I am starting to discover a driven women who accepts challenges with confidence. As far as injury goes, I found out that after counting my miles since March that I had already reached about 360 miles in my trusty Brooks Adrenaline GTS 12's, It will already be 6 months in a week since I have had them, so all I need to do is get a new pair of running shoes!! I have a pair of Brooks Green Silence racing flats, I am using for now, but I will definitely need to get a new pair of shoes soon as my long runs are going to start getting longer.  So I am so thankful that I figured that out!! :)

After I finished the race and cooled down, I saw a mother and father with a double jogging stroller, I had  that uncomfortable feeling knowing that there were twins in the stroller, my first reaction was to look away, I always get emotional when I see twins, but this time, I looked and smiled at them, I know this may seem like a very small moment in my day, but it was truly a moment of healing for me. God placed them in my path right after the race so that I could accept the strength I felt while running, because everything in me wanted to shut down, but I didn't, I just smiled and  I knew that my God was taking care of my twins and that one day I would see and hold them. I am so thankful that God helped me through the pain and what seemed to be a HUGE mountain of emotions when I lost them and now I am stronger and at peace. What are some hills/mountains in life that you have been through or are going through, do you see your strength in them?  I encourage you to take the time to let God reveal to you how strong you really are and how faithful He really is. 



Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Overcoming Fear, Replacing it with FAITH

Wow!! This past week has been very FULL!! I am proud to say that I am HALF WAY done with the Half marathon training!!  I am signed up and getting ready for the final weeks of training.  I will be doing my long runs with Back on my Feet Atlanta starting Sept. 1.  We will be practicing on the course, which I am excited about.  I have realized this past weekend that running on the streets of Atlanta is more difficult than running at Silver Comet Trail (this is where I had done most of my long runs before and it is very flat!!)  I ran 7.5 miles on Saturday in Atlanta and realized there was no way I would be prepared had I continued to run on the flat trail.  I also realized that running hills needs to be done. Even though I am very far away from it, I am starting to worry about the Marathon in March.  I had asked a couple of people about it and have been told that this marathon is not the easiest one to do, that it is hilly and hard. I can write this down and feel at ease, but a couple of days ago, it would have been a different story!! My faith had been shaken, I started to doubt myself, I started to let fear enter... fear of injury, fear of over/under training, fear of not being able to finish the race strong... the thoughts were endless!!! To add to that, after my run this weekend, my left knee started to hurt, so that automatically put me into worry mode!!  Thank God for my husband who calmed me down and encouraged me.  I decided to take Sunday, Monday and today off.  I think it was a good decision, I just needed time to refocus, rest, and receive encouragement from friends, family and God. Today, aside from my kidneys hurting, I feel better, my knee feels better, my body feels rested and my mind feels stronger.  On Sunday before church, I read a verse that really touched my heart and gave me peace, "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful." Hebrews 10:23

  
It's so easy to loose faith in something that you have never experienced, to lose a dream because of doubt. Walking (or running) out of your comfort zone will not be easy and I am learning that now, there will be fear of the unknown, but I must keep pressing on.  I must fight this fear and practice faith!! God promises are real and I must remember all that He has done in my life.  I don't ever doubt God because His presence in my life is very evident, its believing in my ability and believing that I am worthy enough to accomplish a goal.  I have time and time again felt like a failure growing up, so even now as an adult, the feeling of failure comes and goes.  My husband has been very encouraging in this time and I have some friends that have been very encouraging to me, thank you to everyone who has encouraged me, I am very thankful to have such great friends!!   So starting tomorrow, I am ready to attack this training plan!! This week is an easy week, I am running a 5k for Back on my Feet Atlanta on Saturday:  http://atlanta.backonmyfeet.org/bomf-meaningful-miles-5k.html  
I am really excited about this race!!

What are your dreams? What are some passions that never seem to fade, waking you in the middle of the night?  Whatever they may be, they are there for a reason!! Go after them!! Don't lose the passion!!

Here is a recap of week 5:
Day 1: Interval Workout 7X400 (2 min. rest in between) Splits-1:35.07, 1:51.60, 1:47.38, 1:48.30, 1:53.59, 1:59.36, 1:47.52
Day 2: 4 mile run- 44:32
Day 3: 3 mile run- 30:35
Day 4: 7.5 mile run- 1:27
Day 5: took off (Knee pain)





Friday, August 10, 2012

One Mighty Step at a Time...

It has been 5 months since I have consistently started running.  I was talking to a very close friend of mine and he said, "It must have been easy for you, since you ran in high school."  My response was, "Actually my friend, it made it HARDER!"! See, you have to understand, in high school, I was super skinny and ran really well. After having 2 babies in a row, overeating because of depression and feeling hopeless, when I dressed up to go on a run, I compared myself to that young runner I used to be, it would leave me feeling defeated.  It mostly made me wanna give up because I didn't see myself ever getting to that place physically again.  I had always had the desire to start running again after I had Hope but I had NO IDEA where to start.  I goggled info, read running discussion boards, looked at different plans, bought books, magazines, etc.  I even convinced my  sweet husband to buy me a Garmin watch for Mother's Day last year so I was able to track and see what I was doing.  I love my watch, and I really feel like it has been very motivating to have something to look back at and see how far I have come.  When I had just gotten it, recording my runs was hard and made me feel discouraged because of the comparison.  I decided I would share my Garmin history so here it is:

May 11, 2011- 1.27 miles in 21:43 (pace 17:10/mi.)
May 19, 2011- 1.88 miles in 25:47 (pace 13:42/mi)
May 24, 2011- .61 miles in 7:55  (pace 12:59)
May 25, 2011- 2.07 miles in 28:17 (pace 13:41)
July 24, 2011 1.61 miles 32:44 (pace 20:23)

That's it....then there is nothing on my Garmin up until March 5 2012.

I tried to run, I tried really hard but I kept on comparing myself to the runner I was before, because of that I gave up, I had decided that there really was no way that I could be fast again, that I could never amount to the runner I once was, so I put up my Garmin nicely in its box and into my dresser.

-So my number one piece of advice to any of you who may want to start running is:  
DON'T COMPARE YOURSELF to ANYONE (Even if it is a memory of yourself!!)
 Remember that this will be your individual journey with the Lord, invite Him into every run you start, He will reveal Himself. Believe it!!

-Start of slow and know that it will take time but if you continue to do it, there WILL BE improvement!!
Even if it is just a small jog/walk down your street, dominate that street and then when you feel stronger make the course longer and dominate that one!! :)

In May of 2011, I had attempted to start running again, I was excited, I was positive but my eyes were set on where I had used to be instead of where God wanted me to be in the present. Starting over again is a very humbling experience, it's hard emotionally, but when we fix our eyes on the Lord, He will give us enough strength to get each run done.  I can't completely tell you why I gave up, maybe pride, maybe depression, my cigarette habit...I do know that God wanted me to let that memory fade, He wanted to start something NEW in me.

-You have to be WILLING BODY, MIND, SPIRIT and SOUL!!! You have to decide and make a choice in your mind and heart that you are ready to take on this journey. In your heart of hearts you have to agree with all your being that YOU WILL PUT IN THE WORK!!  No one can make you do the runs, that's when you see what you are made of!!

As I look back, when I gave up last year after a couple of runs, the dream did not disapear!!! Just because I had given up, did not mean that God had given up on me and because He placed that desire in my heart, it never went away! Instead, it got stronger and more evident in my mind.  I still continued to read books on running, watch documentaries, look up races on You tube, etc...  I had no idea at the time that the Lord was getting my heart and mind ready.  ISN'T HE AWESOME!!! At that time in my life, I literally did nothing but sit on my couch, of course, I took care of my girls, but I really did feel "stuck" physically.  Every now and then I would open up my dresser and look at my garmin, which brought feelings that made me sick to my stomach. 

-After making the decision, it is important that you tell people, even if it makes it scary, it also makes you accountable.  Set a goal and have reason.   Run for something that is dear to you!!!

When God met me on my treadmill, I had to give Him my cigarette smoking.  I run for my girls, so that they can see mommy strong, healthy and happy!! But I also run for my babies in heaven.  For me, there is just something about running that makes me feel closer to heaven.  I can express feelings I have no other way of expressing through running and God always meets me there.  I really feel like running is my form of worship to the Lord.

- Don't second guess yourself!!!  You can do!!

I didn't write this in my first blog but I thought I would share.  After I had that experience with the Lord on my treadmill (which was in February) It took me about a little less than a month to really stop smoking and start running.  It was almost like I was second guessing my ability and His promise towards me.  One day, I stopped by the gas station and went up to the cashier, I asked for a pack of cigarettes and to my surprise, in a gentle, quiet, calm voice, the cashier asked, "Why do you need these?"  Instantly I felt my face turn red, I was shocked, embarrassed and I promised the cashier it was my last pack. He had no words for me, just a look, not a judging look, but more of a concerned look and I walked away. When I went into my car, I couldn't believe what had just happened. I cried my eyes out, I asked God to forgive me, I immediately felt His love for me, no anger, just love. Thank you Lord for your patience towards me.  I then knew that it was time, that I HAD to do this, I knew that He had put this desire in my heart and I had to fulfill it. Glory to God!



-Be prepared for an uncomfortable journey and have a support group!!  The first day I ran I had decided my goal would be to be able to run 3 miles without stopping.  That is all I focused on.  I think the route I started with was about 2 and a half miles.  The run was terrible!! My lungs hurt, I had to stop and walk within the first mile and I could barely breathe, BUT the feeling of running and getting it done was better than any cigarette I had ever smoked!! I expressed my dreams with my husband and a few friends so that when it does and did get tough I will have others to lean on.


-Set a Goal and Share it-  This was the hard one for me  I decided I would try to run a 5k in the end of April.  I looked online and found the closest 5k race to my house (that way I could practice running the course)  Signing up for a race will definitely keep you accountable.   Not to mention the feeling of accomplishing the goal will just make you feel stronger!! I can't tell you how awesome it was to finish that race.

I placed first in my age division!! My first 5k race since high school!!
















- Track your improvements-  Like I had mentioned before, having the ability through my Garmin has been great.  I am able to look at where I am at and also see my improvment.  There are many apps that do the exact same thing and websites as well.  A website that have helped me stay on track in the beginning was www.sparkpeople.com/ (this website helps track your food intake, exercise, etc and its free!! VERY HELPFUL!! Some running apps: www.runkeeper.com, www.mapmyrun.com,  There are also plans that you can download onto your phone that you can use while running such as: couch to 5k run/walk program, etc. (If you would like more info or need help selecting a plan, I am MORE THAN WILLING to HELP!!)

Looking back and reflecting is something I try to do every month.  I don't ever want to forget the journey, the steps it took, the feelings, the breakthrough and most importantly, the Faithful, loving God who sees in me something bigger than I could ever imagine.  Time and time again, He shows His faithfulness to me. The more I open up my heart to Him and reject the lies, the more joy I receive. He replaces my FEAR with FAITH.


All you need to do is take a tiny step toward your goal, whatever it may be, the fact is that even if your moving slow, you are still moving foward, those small steps will turn into bigger stronger steps, they will eventually turn into a beautiful testimony that you can share with others.  
Start today, stop dreaming and start doing, discover the strength the Lord has placed in YOU!! 





Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Into Week 4 Half Marathon Training

I finished week 3!!! Which was really a hard week for me, I failed to wake up in the morning most of the week.  So I made a goal to do things differently this week.
1.  Get the girls on a better schedule (Thanks to a very sweet friend who gave me great advice after reading my last blog, you know who you are!)
2.  Get to bed at a decent time!! (even though the Olympics have caused me to stay up!!! But hey it only happens once every 4 years.)
3.  This is the big one... silly I never thought of it before:  PUT MY ALARM AWAY FROM MY BED!!!!!
I giggle a little when I write this because, if someone where to record me jumping off of my bed and trying to remember how to turn it off every morning, it would be hilarious!!!!



So far this has been working great!! I am starting to get excited cause the long runs are getting longer!! I LOVE long runs and am really looking foward to them, especially since I get to do them with  Back on My Feet.  When I started running again, a friend of my husband's, Barry,(who is pretty awesome)  introduced me to this group and I have been a part of it since then.  I absolutely love what they stand for and believe in their mission statement.  If you have never heard about them check out their website: http://atlanta.backonmyfeet.org/atlanta-landing.html 
Back on My Feet Atlanta on National Running Day
Anyways, I run with the group on Wednesdays and Saturdays and will be running my very first half marathon on their team which makes it even more special for me.  I have been inspired, pushed and encouraged by the group. Being able to run alongside others who have rediscovered their strength and potential though running has been a wonderful experience. 

So here is a recap of what I did for the 3rd week:  This was an easy week as I only had 4 workouts to do (this was the week I was to do a 5k) I didnt end up actually racing one and decided to do a long run instead.
Day 1: Interval Workout 6X400
Day 2 3 mile run
Day 3 3.5 mile
Day 4: 6 mile run with BOMF

I really feel like I have gotten over a mountain in my mind.  My goals are a lot more clearer and I feel stronger physically, emotionally and spiritually.  I am so thankful for the support that I have received from friends and family.  It makes the early morning runs easier to know that there are people out there who believe that I will accomplish the goal that God has placed in my heart. On Friday, I decided to reconnect with a dear friend of mine and watch an 80's cover band and just enjoy a night out. I went there knowing that it would be a place where there were gonna be people smoking.  I had a great time, the cover band was awesome, the company was great, and I didn't smoke!! I didn't even have a desire to smoke!!! YES!!! :)  Thank you Lord!! Now to get my precious girls to bed.
Hope, Gracie and Kona


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Honestly...


I am in my 3rd week of half marathon training, I am also in the process of training my daughter Hope to go potty like a big girl. She will be 2 in the end of September and I am really proud of her progress!! I had been training her by leaving her diaper off and having the potty in our living room (thank God for hardwood floors.) She has been doing great for the past 2 weeks.  Today I have introduced "big girl" panties to her and she is thrilled!! She doesn't quite get the concept of pulling them down, but she does take them completely off and then I help her put them back on after she goes potty. Of course my husband and I made it a huge celebration this morning when she got it right the first time. :) That truely made my day, to just take a step back and enjoy small accomplishments.



As far as my training is going, well, this week has been harder than the last 2!! Honestly, I have had the hardest time waking up in the morning.  I know that if I want to stay consistent especially when I enter my marathon training I am going to have to BE WILLING to wake up in the morning.  Honestly, bedtime for my daughters is always a struggle and I fail most nights to stay firm and keep a schedule.  Honestly, I can't truly fall asleep until my hubby gets home from work (which is a little after 1 am.) Honestly, most nights there is a Hope in the middle of us who LOVES to sleep sideways.  HONESTLY bedtime makes me feel like a failure, because I can't get it right!! I'm so tired I tend to get frustrated and raise my voice.  What child would wanna go to sleep to that? When I do finally get to bed, I am flooded with thoughts of life, I try to plan out how my run will go, I'll put out my clothes, set my alarm and try my hardest to get to bed, the past couple of days I have failed to wake up.  On my first day of training for this week (Tuesday) I turned off my alarm and slept, missing out on that workout.  On Wednesday, my phone charger stopped working which caused my phone to die in the middle of the night.  I was thankful that my husband was willing to wake up with the girls while I got in a quick interval workout on a track nearby, but it was HOT!! Last night, I think Gracie finally fell asleep at 11:00. I then had to clean the kitchen, throw the trash, fold clothes and make sure my phone was charging (with my husband's charger.) When all that was done, I tried my hardest to fall asleep.  And then Hope comes in and is ready to take her spot on the bed!! My husband arrived home and we ended up talking for a while (which I really enjoy after being by myself for most of the day.)  I ended up taking my phone and trying to sleep on the couch, since I didn't wanna wake up my daughter Hope.  So I am gonna say it was about 2:30 when I laid down, I had intended to wake up at 5:30 so that I could make it to a mommy running group nearby (which I am really excited about.) Before I knew it, I woke up, except the sun was out, I looked at my time and it was 7:15!!!! My alarm must have went off, but I turned it off. :( 
SILLY FACE
I shared my frustration with my husband and again, he came to my rescue and agreed to wake up a bit earlier so that I could get in 3 miles in our neighborhood.  As I began running, I felt a lot of release, some of it was worry, frustration, stress.  Honestly, I ran the first mile of my run ANGRY.  I needed to, it is my way of release.  I cried a little and like always, God met me, He always does when I run.  I know that these small little problems/ setbacks, He is allowing to make me stronger.  To make me more aware of life.  To be thankful for the little things in life.  To allow my husband to help me.  To mold me into the mother, wife and daughter of the Most High that I am created to be.  He gave me a mantra today." A thankful heart finishes the race" and "press on" I said it over and over again in my last mile.  It spoke wonders to me. 
BIG SMILE
So this is just me being real.  I had decided that when I started this blog it was going to come with challenges and I was going to share them because sometimes, we must go through struggles, setbacks and pain to get to where we wanna be.  It will make us stronger, it will also allow us to be thankful when we reach our goals.  To look back and remember how far we have come.
After my run, I waked into my house and came into the noises of loud girly laughs and daddy growls and a very "jumpy" dog (She is a jack-chi.)  I instantly felt peace, a calm that only God can give and I know that today is gonna be a good day. It may not be perfect, I will have my struggles, bedtime is gonna be tough again. I will try harder, I will practice the grace and mercy that God gives me for my daughters.  I will try a little harder to get to bed earlier.  I will be thankful that I am alive and that I am surrounded by people who love me. Honestly, I know that I am stronger than these struggles and setbacks, I will not give up.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Week 2 Half Marathon Training completed!!

Okay so I just wanted to write a recap of how my week went.  It was better than last week, but I am still struggling with waking up in the morning.  I have gotten better at it.  Mentally, I think that is where the battle has been.  I know that God is really doing a work in my life through running.  He is changing thoughts that I have struggled with my whole life, one of which is finishing, following through, attaining a goal.  I have always had issues with that, and most of the time, I would feel defeated, and give up.  In High school, when I was in high school, I ran cross country and LOVED it, I had finally found some thing that I was good at, my parents were not really the type to go to races, which really made me feel bad, but later my father mentioned that he wanted me to do things for myself and not for others.  Anyways, I had talent, but lacked self confidence so when a freshman came in and seemed to be better than me, I gave up my junior year.  Another example was finishing high school, I entered my senior year with only 3 credits to finish, I decided to finish school early, move in with a friend, got our own apartment, only to miss too many days and ended up having to finish in the summer.  I didn't complete college, because I got pregnant with my first daughter, not married yet and since I was going to a Christian college, I assumed I wouldn't be able to finish. (which was not the case, they would have let me finish.  It's like I have a fear of finishing.  I haven't quite figured it out, but I do recognize it in my life as a cycle.  I thank God that He reveals these things to me and he is challenging me to break the cycle.  So when I mark out another week, there is this joy in my heart that overwhelms me.
This week, I was faced with an injury scare, I was faced with sleepless nights, I was faced with everyday challenges as a mother and wife.  I had some times in my day where I was attacked by the loneliness as a stay at home mom.  These are things that I go through every week.  I try every day to focus on positive thoughts, focus on the joy my daughters bring me on a daily basis. 

Here is what I had to do this last week:
Day1 30 min Tempo Run
Day 2 3 mile run
Day 3- 3 mile run
Day 4- 3 mile race pace
Day 5- 6 mile run

My first run was on Tuesday, I decided I would do an easy warmup for 10 minutes, then run as hard as I could for 10 mins, then cool down for 10 mins.  I was really surprised to see my fast pace in the middle was 8:01/mi. for 1.26 miles , that really encouraged me to know that I am getting faster!! :)  That was definitely a highlight of my week.  On wednesday I run with a group called back on my feet, and I am always looking foward to that run!! :)  Thurday was when I was feeling my foot hurt so I went on ahead and skipped my workout with plans to combine 2- 3 mile runs on Saturday.  Running with the awesome marathoner that I met on Saturday was a definite highlight as well, he really did motivate me. I was able to run 6 miles in less than 60 minutes with his coaching!!  My last run for the week was a very easy paced 6 mile run I did on sunday in my neighborhood, I use that last long run to relax and reflect on my week, listen to music and just get lost in my thoughts, which is nice every now and then.
The best memory this week was getting home from a run and seeing my daughter Gracie looking out the window.  I love that she was so excited to see me, and right away she knew what I had been doing.  Later on that day she said, "Mommy when I get older I wanna run a marathon like you."  It was so cute how she said it because marathon sounded like it would sound coming from a 3 year old, but it brought tears to my eyes, she may not really know what she meant, but it touched my heart that she sees mommy running, she sees mommy working hard, and she will see mommy run a marathon!! :)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Saturday Surprises!!

Okay so last night in the Messer home was a tough one, my hubby could not sleep, I couldn't sleep (maybe because I has coffee too late) and my girls couldn't sleep!!!! I had planned to go and run with a group that started at 7 so I had to leave my house by 6:30, my poor sweet husband even went into our living room so that I could get a little bit of sleep.  My daughter, Hope fell off her toddler bed (she sleeps crazy) so she ended up in bed with me.  My alarm went off at 5:45 and I turned it off!!! :( I then woke up at 7 and made myself get out of bed!!! I had first decided I would just run in my neighborhood, but then after checking in with the hubby, I decided to go to my favorite paved trail called Silver Comet in Smyrna, Ga, about 15 minutes from where I live.  I knew it would be packed full with runners training for races and cyclists.  I always get bummed out when I go to places where there are a bunch of runners, makes me feel lonely.  I have 1 friend who runs, so I hope to make more runner friends eventually, running alone is nice, but it's also good to have someone to be accountable to, to be pushed.  This had been something that I had been thinking about lately.
It was perfect timing when I arrived from the get-go.  The parking lot was packed, but as I turned around there was one car pulling out, SCORE!! Anyways, Silver Comet is very beautiful, trees surround the path, so most of it is shaded, which I love.  I stretched, turned my Garmin on and was ready to go.  As I started to run I felt my right foot start to relax, which made me relax, now that I look back, I think my elastic laces were pulled to tight which in turn made my foot sore.  After about a mile, I got into a good pace and started to focus on my breathing.  After that was nice and relaxed, I felt someone in back of me, but never passing me, the competativeness in me, kept my pace, maybe even stepped it up alittle, then he appeared, he was an older tall, slender man with an accent.  He asked," How far you going?" I then told him 3miles out 3 miles back.  He then said, "Okay, I run with you, I like your pace."  He had explained to me that he had just done 16 miles and wanted to do a little more before he turned around to go home!! WHOAH!! He was really nice, and he gave me excellent advice, I was very much motivated and inspired listening to his words spoken with passion.  He had run all the races, told me about the race I am going to run, told me about places I should be training, helped me keep my pace.  The list goes on and on, He helped me push the pace at the end as well.  When I clocked 6 miles I stopped and I thanked him for running with me, and he kept on running, not sure how much further he went.  I was totally blessed by this encounter and felt like this was a little reminder from God that He has a plan for me, and it is to fulfill His promise in my life.  I will run a marathon.  This man really inspired me, listening to his passion filled words was just amazing for me. What a great surprise!! Did not expect that at all!!
I ran 6 miles today to get caught up on my training for this week.  I missed 2- 3 mile days. I am supposed to run 6 miles tomorrow but I am not sure I will, we will see how my body feels, more than likely I will, but a very easy relaxed run in the evening when the sun goes down. We shall see.  Here's to pressing on!!