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!!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Slump... my foot hurts

BLAH!!! I don't know what is up with my right foot, but I think something happened to it.  The pain is along the big toe and goes up into my leg.  It's a little swollen at the top, I've been icing and heating it, not sure what it is.  Trying really hard not to feel discouraged and hold on to His promise.  I know that not all things come easy and when I started this journey it was gonna take hard work and discipline.  I also know that through running I have been able to discover and rediscover who I am, what my weaknesses are and how to make these areas stronger.  My weakness is in the mind and what better sport to have my heart in than long distance running!! With that said, this small hurt I feel in my foot has caused my to feel pretty down.  What if it is broken?? Am I willing to stop running for a bit to let it heal? It's been 2 days since I have run and THAT has made me feel even worse.  I watched a Ryan Hall interview where he was talking about his new book about spiritual coaching.  I kept on remembering how he mentioned that he had to realize that his joy was not in running, in getting gold, in fame.  It was in the LORD!! I am trying very hard to focus on that.  Running is not what makes me happy, having a relationship with Jesus is what should make me happy.  Remembering ALL he has brought me through, and knowing that He loved me enough to die for me.  That is my joy!! If running stopped today, my life would not be over.  I have a beautiful family, wonderful friends who love me and a BIG GOD who has great things in store for me.  I KNOW that He promised that I would fulfill the dream I have to run a marathon.  I believe it.  But I also know that this journey is and will be for His glory and not mine.  If He didn't drop me to my knees on my treadmill in February I would still be caught up in cigarette smoking.  I know that this journey to a marathon is part of His healing for my life.  I have come too far to give up, so I am choosing to stay positive and believe in His promise. 
I guess what I am trying to say is that I don't have all together, I never will, the Lord is my strength and I NEED to keep my eyes focused on Him.

I am hoping that I can get in a run tomorrow morning, a nice easy 6 mile run... gonna stay off it today and care for it.  I'm so thankful for a husband who let me nap until the afternoon (I needed to rest.)  This is just the beginning. I know it!! Here is the interview I mentioned, Ryan Hall being interviewed on CNN. :)

Click on this link Above to watch it

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Week 1 Done!!

I don't know if it's just me but having a schedule that I can look at and focus on has been good, it's only been 1 week into this plan and the mileage is not too bad but looking at the first week marked off feels GREAT!! It was a struggle to wake up in the morning and I can honestly say I woke up ONCE to go run, and the rest of my workouts were on the treadmill or in the afternoon heat of GA (which I will never do again!!) 
While running on Sunday which was my long run for the week (5 miles) I really took time to reflect on my week and what I could change, how to plan better, etc.. but I also focused on the fact that I really felt like even though I didn't wake up every morning, I STILL got it done, and I feel like I put in 110% in every workout.  Many will agree that running is a mental sport, especially long distance running.  For me, every time I put on my shoes, I know that there WILL be a battle in my mind. The best feeling in the world is overcoming the negativity and getting it DONE, winning the Mental Battle, which in turn, makes me feel stronger for the next run.  I know that I am very far from being where I want to be but I know that if I work hard at it, I WILL get there. One of the cool things during the week while trying to attempt an interval workout on the treadmill while my girls were napping:  My 3 yr. old Gracie, woke up (she is always very curious about things mommy does) I didn't make her go back to sleep, I just allowed her to sit on her chair and watch mommy run.  I gave her the job of holding my towel and water.  After each interval, I would have her come over and hand me the towel and water... you could see how important she felt, being involved in my workout.  A while later, Hope (my 1 yr. old) woke up and wanted to be involved as well, so Gracie gave me the towel and water and Hope collected it from me when I was done.  It was just one of those moments during my week where I felt really proud.  Even though they are young, it made me feel good to know that they are seeing mommy work hard to reach her goals.  I might just continue to do my interval training on the treadmill so that they can be involved.  Overall, the first week was tough, ( I am also in the process of potty training) and keeping up a house, entertaining/teaching/caring for my girls while attempting to train for a half marathon is tough but it has been done before and I CAN DO IT!!!
I LOVE this saying, I seriously need to print this out and put it somewhere in my house.  Take it ONE day at a time, Put 110% effort in your training, OVERCOME the battle (even if its in your mind) !! :) LOVE IT!! :)
Next thing you know it, you've reached your goal, ready and stronger to reach another...then another!!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Before and After pics...Reflecting on Life

So here are some pics of me that I put together.  It was really fun to put these pics together and see the progress, but it also has caused me to reflect.  The first pic brought tears to me eyes, this pic was taken in Dec. 2010, I remember how terrible I felt at that point in my life, what should have been a very joyous time giving birth to my 2nd child 3 months before had left me feeling like I was literally in a deep dark pit that I could not get out of.  Postpartum depression had gotten a very strong hold on me, I missed my twins and mentally could not get over the fact that I had given birth to just one child... Emotionally I was a MESS!! I HAD a responsibility to nurture and care for my 2 daughters but had to fight to wake up in the morning everyday.  This was a very hard time in my life and I hung on to any positive word, smile, comment on fb... ANYTHING to keep me going.  I remember looking at myself in the mirror and not recognizing the person that I eyes looked empty and I struggled to see what God saw.  I am so thankful for a loving husband who held me on the nights when it hurt so much all I could do was cry, who encouraged me daily with kind words, and reminded me that I WAS a good mother and wife.  He motivated me on the days when I didn't want to live anymore... yes, it was that bad!!! He also helped challenge me to start making a change, together, though, it was small, baby steps.  That is why we took this pic of me.  I think at that time I was around 175lbs, we had got a Wii and purchased the WII FIT, i could not really do any of the workouts, but I tried. My abs were like JELLO!
The second pic was in July 2011, last year... I was eating better, going to the gym and doing a Jillian Micheals 30 Day shred DVD workout, running every now and then and also using my treadmill when I could.  I know that I was in a better place and had gained a bit of self confidence just from looking at the pictures that we had been taking month after month. I also began to reach out to other women and share my struggles, there I gained much needed advice, friendship and motivation even though I was very afraid of sharing my pain.
The last picture was just recently taken on vacation in July 2012.  It has been 4 months since I started running and I am very happy to see how my body is changing doing something I LOVE!!! I am starting to tone and see muscle!!! It's been a LONG time since I have seen muscle!! I am now a healthy 138lbs.
I really am humbled today.  Life the past couple of years has been tough but I kept on going, even if it was just getting up and brushing my teeth.  Little by little, I started to feel alive again. Little by little, I started to want to live again.  God walked and sometimes carried me through the depression.  It was not an easy journey and it is still a journey that I am on, but I know now that I am STRONGER because of it!!! I know now that I am CAPABLE!!! That if I choose everyday to do something that will better my well being, it WILL CHANGE FOR THE BETTER.  Small daily decisions and actions do add up and I am a testimony of that!! Losing weight was NOT EASY for me, it was a struggle everyday!! If you are in that place, Keep GOING, IT WILL GET BETTER!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Beginnings of a mommy runner...

So I am 27 years old, married for 4 years in November. I have to be honest when I write 27 I cringe a little. Not that I am ashamed with my age, it’s not that at all. The past couple of years happened so quickly that I feel like I may have fully missed out on them.  Life has been, well, a roller coaster for me and my family. My hubby and I got married during college in 2008. We lost a baby in 2007 before we got married and so when Gracie was conceived we were thrilled, but still not married. When I was about 6 months we took the dive into the unknown...Marriage!! The beginning stages in my pregnancy with Gracie were very scary as I had a couple of hospital visits, she made it and changed our lives FOREVER!! When Gracie was about 6 months, we decided to move from Arkansas to Atlanta, GA. It was probably not the smartest move but we were young and wanted adventure. A couple of months later, I became pregnant AGAIN, this time with TWINS!! When I was about 8 weeks, I found out there were 2 little ones in my womb, a week later… I lost them. You could imagine how devastated we were having to call everyone we called a week before to tell them what had happened. The worst feeling was feeling like sleeping my life away when I still had a baby girl who still needed her mommy. Well about a month and a half later… GUESS WHAT???!!! I WAS PREGNANT AGAIN!!!! This time we really didn't expect it, but it was confirmed that there was a little one growing in my belly. This time I didn't even want to move, I feared losing this baby, but thankfully my baby made it, we named her HOPE and she has truly been hope to our family. With all that said, mommy hood, has been very tough on me.  Loneliness, seclusion, striving to be and do your best everyday and feeling like a failure...  it felt like THIS was my life, like God had nothing else for me, and in a way I was okay with that, but it left me feeling very empty. When I was younger I had dreams, and for some reason in my small little mind I had decided that it was too late. But God, being so faithful, intervened in a very powerful way 4 months ago. I am 5’3 and after I had Hope, I was at my heaviest of 180. I physically could not recognize myself. Before babies I was about 125-130 and a runner. Fear had taken over my life. I felt like I could not move, like life had stopped for me. Depression had taken over. Little by little God started to remind me of how great it used to feel to run. I played with the thought, but then it changed, it became a dream, a fantasy. It never crossed my mind that I could get back to where I was before. After all, I was a closet cigarette smoker who had accepted the fact that I would always be a cigarette smoker because it was the only thing that helped calm my nerves… In February of this year, I was on my treadmill, processing my thoughts, mostly complaining to God about how terrible I feel and how terrible my life is and so on and so forth, I had even started to ask myself why I even get on this treadmill, nothing will become of it… silly me to think I used to believe I could run a marathon one day… To my amazement, God met me there on that treadmill while trying to do a short interval training session. He took my back to a track meet in high school. freshman year, It was our District meet and I ran the JV 3200, the memory of it was so clear I could smell the freshly cut grass, I remember seeing my coach close to the finish line and then another teacher of mine at another part of the track, they were both reminding me of my breathing and my pace and encouraging me, telling me that if I just kept on going I would win this race. There words were so encouraging that I ended up not only winning but lapping some of the girls. At this time I was not running on my treadmill anymore, I was on my knees on my treadmill crying, God reminded me that He was there when I won that race, He reminded me that the passion, the dream, the fire I once had was put into my heart by Him!!! The feeling of racing had overwhelmed me, and instantly I wanted that again!!! So as I stood on my knees, red faced, God made a really great deal with me, all I had to do was FINALLY STOP SMOKING and He would give me my dream of running a marathon… So on March 5, I stopped smoking and started running. I haven't touched a cigarette!!! I have been able to run 10 miles once on the 3 month anniversary and then last week. My 5k time has improved tremendously and I am now beginning to train for my first half marathon in October!!! I am hoping that this blog will encourage others on a similar journey, I hope to meet other mommy runners out there, but I also hope to inspire others out there as well. Losing a baby is not easy and most times, people really don't know what to say or how to heal, so we just tuck in in and try our hardest to forget about it which in turn leaves us feeling… well dead. I hope to met others who have suffered miscarriage, stillborn, and help you walk or run through it!! For me, running has been so therapeutic in this area. Any mommies trying to get your “sexy" back and need support, I would love to connect and encourage!! I am now down to 138 from 180 and LOVE what running has done to my body physically. Running truly has revived me in many ways and I would love to inspire others on this journey as well. GOD IS GOOD and I am so thankful that I am running again!! It has given me much needed ME TIME, helps keep my life in perspective as I’m able to sort out my thoughts while running and I get to rediscover this strong women within me. So this is just the beginnings of a mommy runner, Life has been tough but I have became TOUGH because of life, so I’m gonna keep on running.
Goal: Marathon in the Spring 2013!! Here we GO!!