Sunday, September 5, 2010

It...Is...Finished (for now!)

I am still in awe that at around 12:11pm this afternoon, I completed my first half marathon. The run challenged me physically and mentally more so than anything else I've ever done.

I'm currently sitting in my hotel room, still trying to process exactly what has just taken place. While I was running, though, I had the most amazing suprise around mile 5. My best friend, her husband and parents drove very early this morning to cheer me on. Needless to say, I couldn't believe my eyes. Unbelievable.

So many runners/walkers, terrific weather, fun cheer squads, great bands, loads of memory and experience. I'm sure there will be many musings after this entry, about my time on the road. But for now, this tired little birthday girl is gunna take a nap.

To all who supported, encouraged, tracked and watched - you can't know how much you mean to me. I could not have made it across the finish line with out you, and with all finished strong!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Countdown: 5 days!

The weather was goreous this morning in the humidity capital of the universe. I hope that the weather in VB is like this: nice breeze, low temps, the smell of salt water from the beach. I'm not a huge fan of the beach, but I do have some pretty fond memories from when I lived on the beach! It should be a nice jog down memory lane (pun very much intended.)

My vacation officiall starts tomorrow morning at 11am. It is my first true grown-up vacation since I've been working. Gunna head over to Jax to visit my family. I fly out Friday afternoon, and should arrive at my hotel just in time to watch the premier of Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam. That's right, I'll be 30 soon, and still frequent the Disney Channel and Nickolodeon. :)

On Saturday, I'll visit the Heath and Fitness Expo that's happening next door to my hotel at the convention center. I'm quite excited about this, and hope to find some things that will aid me in being a better TKD instructor and future TKD school owner.

Sunday is the big day. The race starts at 7am. I plan to be done close to 10:30am. There will be an after party on the beach that evening.

I fly out for Jax very early in the morning, and should arrive home around 11:30am. Then begins my recovery time: a hot bath and bed!!

Huzzah! 5 more days, baby!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Countdown: 6 days

Well, the week of the race is here. After many long months of walking, and learning to run - the race week is here. I can't believe it. It seems more sureal now than before to tell people that I'm going to run in a half-marathon. Everyone I've talked to is very excited...then when I tell them it's on my birthday...that really seals the deal. Sometimes, I can't believe it myself.

On May 12, I made the declaration for all to read that I would be participating in the Virginia Beach Rock'n'Roll Half Marathon. It was the next day that my true training began, but it wasn't until 2 weeks ago, when some great friends of mine, completed 11 consecutive miles, that I really understood what I'd signed up for.

To me, who has never really been an "athlete" - this will be a great accomplishment. When I cross the finish line, it will be because of committment and pure determination, not because I have the talent, gift, or physique. I am, everyday, learning to make better choices - and sometimes I fail miserably. But I will run this race with perseverance. I will cross that finish line sweaty and smily (and probably tearful).

Thank you to all who have been there from the start, cheering and pushing me, always encouraging me - especially when I didn't think I could possibly take another step. You will be with me along the course, for sure!

Friday, August 27, 2010

I know that face...

I was on my way back to work from running an errand, and I saw a young lady out running. I thought to myself, "I know that face." For a moment, I felt as though I were looking into a mirror. Not because our physical features resembled one another because they certainly didn't: She was lean and somewhat fit. No, I felt like I was looking into a mirror because I knew that face...lips pressed, sweat beading, face was determination, grit and unwaivering perseverance.

I know that face...and I love it!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Twice in a lifetime

On October 3, 1998 - I stood before a group of fellow students, family, and friends receiving one of the greatest things I could think of at 18 years old: a solid black belt with my name embroidered in gold thread. I'd seen my name affixed to many certificates with gold seals, but NONE compared to the achievement of reaching 1st degree Black belt. This moment memorialized hours of training, sacrifice, and study. For me, this was the moment of a life time.

However, after leaving for college - my training in TaekwonDo came to an end. For the next 10 years, I would secretly (for fear of looking like a goon) kick and punch just to see if I still had it in me. The desire to one day train again remained, and the love of the art never died.

In early September of 2008, my desires came true as I signed up to begin my training again. All the memories came flooding back: the smells, the feel; watching and listening. Certainly, aspirations of being healthy, flexible and strong were fueling me; however, one even stronger dream directed my decisions and focus: one day I wanted to have a school of my own; to influence children and adults alike - giving them the tools to do better, be stronger and healther, and reach further than ever.

This journey has been and will continue to be dotted with smaller goals. I liken it to a rock wall - in order to reach the top, you must place your hand and feet on strategicly placed notches, each one building on the position of your last. The same applies here.

Nearly 2 years later, on August 18, 2010 - I stood before a group of fellow students, family and friends receiving one of the greatest things I can think of at 29 years old: a solid black belt with my name embroidered in gold thread. I'd seen my name affixed to another black belt before, but NOTHING compared to reaching 1st degree black belt...again. This moment memorialized hours of training, sacrifice and study - and years of dreaming, struggling and missing that which I'd left behind.

There is nothing sweeter than reaching an intended destination. But for me, the journey has only just begun. There are many more goals to be made and reached, and I have no doubt that each one will be sweeter than the one before. "Hello Goal, it is so nice to finally meet you. Your family is very large, but I have every intention of meeting you all."

Monday, August 2, 2010

Lots Going on

It was been a VERY long time since my last entry. A lot has been going on - some good, some bad, some painful. I have had a few injury set backs, that forced me to not train...But I'm still going!

My short weekleys have allowed me to jog a mile consistantly. The humidity allows me to go no futher. I have added a leg circuit at the gym twice a week to help strengthen my knees, which has helped tremendously.

I have also been graced with a weekend walking buddy. He and I have ventured into trail walking/jogging. I've never done it before, and the first Saturday was torture on my legs, but the next day - recovery time was much faster.

This past Saturday, we hit the trails again, for my longest distance to date of 7 miles (in 2h12m). Trails are much different than the pavement. To me, it would almost be like training to run with ankle weights or in water. Really tough, but beneficial.

On August 21 or 22 - i'm planning a 15 miles walk/jog. That way I'll have a pretty good idea of what my body will do in Virginia Beach.

My overall training has been most consistant than ever (as compared to my lame attempts in my life). However, there is always room to strive, push, and challenge. At the end of the finish line - i will not be done. This will be a lifetime thing. Perhaps, I'll be fit enough to run (yes, I said run) a full 26-mile marathon. Wouldn't that be something?!?

Until then - learning to throw off all that hinders, one painful step at a time.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


That's kinda how I feel right now...that I only have my wits about me enough to put one foot in front of the other. There are several stressfull things going on in my tiny corner of the world, and trying my very best to not let it effect my training - but admittedly, it's hard to do sometimes.

There are 46 days left until my event. I'm still training, and doing TaeKwonDo. Now, I've added some light strength training for my knees. Today, they are mildly tender - but they do not hurt. Even after a very intense TKD workout last night with lots of twisting, pivoting and jumping...they do not hurt.

The key now is to remain consistant, and injury free. Left........right.........left.......right...left...right...left...right, left, right, left, right, leftrightleftright.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Du the Gu in Nu Shuz the race event in September there will be a lot of things going on along the course: music, spectators, water stations, and Gu. I love the first 3 things, but Gu?!? What the heck is Gu, and why on earth is it on my race course? Well, it is a gel-like substance that helps with energy on long distance treks.

Normally, I am not a fan of energy drinks, or substances - but at mile 10...who knows what my brain will be thinking: mirages, delirium? So, on the off chance that my brain, in a state of slosh, demands that my hand reach for a packet of this Gu - i thought it wise to start training with it, a little. I bought 2 flavors: orange and lemon, and used them yesterday during my long run/walk.

I am so glad that I have 1.5 months to get use to this Gu. It wasn't bad...just VERY different.

In conjunction with this new experience, I'm also breaking in a new pair of shoes. The Motos that I bought a few weeks ago, didn't last very long. So, I'm wearin a very stylish, gray and pink pair of shoes with great arch support. Unfortunately, my feetsies aren't quiet used to them yet, so they yell loudly at me.

Now - with 54 days left, I must continue to press on. I still think I'm a little loopy, but what's life without a little loopiness.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

60 Days and counting

Well, yesterday was the 2 month mark. Now is the time where my "focus needs more focus." No slacking, no whining, no more punkin' out.

I will admit, rather freely, that I am quite nervous at the thought that in 60 days...I'll be in mid-route journeying toward the finish line. I have NEVER done anything like this...done something that didn't hinge on my natural abilities and/or talents. There is always the through of "What if I fail?" or "What if I'm last?" I try and tell myself that it doesn't really matter - but deep does.

When I think about some of my friends (both past and present) have accomplished - I feel like a slight underachiever. But I know I can't stay in that frame of mind, now can I? So, i will do my best to throw out the line of thinking...and work at persevering through this all the way to the finish line.

60 days and counting!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Back to the Grind

A week ago, I injured my knee (slightly), so I took that week off from training - spent the day home on Friday to ice and elevate it. Went out this morning for the first time and while my knee was little tender when I began jogging, it eventually loosend up and didn't twinge quite as bad.

What caused my knee to rebel against me...? One day during a Taekwondo class, I attempted to do 'real' squats, which I know to be a no-no. Squats and lunges are my MORTAL ENEMY!!!! The up-down motion on my knee joints is painful, and while it feels good at the moment and I tuck my thumbs under my proverbial suspenders thinking I've just done this wonderous thing...I pay for it a few days after...not on a few occassions, but EVERY...SINGLE...TIME!!!

So, i'll continue to do isometric squats and lunges while the rest of my compatriots bob up and down. Perhaps one day, when I'm about 115 pounds lighter, maybe then I'll be able to do them.

Guess what?!? I bought a new pair of running shoes. The Nike Air Max Moto+7. It is suprisingly comfortable and feels good on my tootsies. It also opens up the option to use Nike+, which is a small device that fits in the shoe, under the insert. It provides training data, and can sync with my itouch.

However, these wonderful, beautifully new, super hot-looking shoes DEFINITELY need to be broken in. I walked in them today for the first time, and by the time I was done, i thought I would cry because the outstep of my foot ached so badly. I think this happens with most new shoes, and after about a week or so, i'll be just fine. But in the interim...GEEZ!

There are 67 days until the race. My self-motivation is wearing thin as of late. I'm finding it harder and harder to get up in the morning and walk/jog - especially during these wonderful, Florida humid months. i'm not giving up by any small stretch, I'm just sayin' it's gettin hard.

So I'm askin' you to help me keep running this race with perseverance.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Dear Anonymous Comment -

I don't think that I have ever been so humbled and honored. Thank you for your kind words of encouragment. Your new committment has inspired my heart. When I started this journey 41 entries ago - my heart's desire was to inspire people to start their own journey; to help encouragment and challenge them to take strides of faith. But in all honesty, I didnt' really think it would happen. It was a nice dream and desire, but I had no idea that this tiny blog would have the effect that is has.

If I could offer 1 piece of advice for your new journey, it would be this: find someone you trust and can count on to run this race and train with. Also, surround yourself with a good support system (including me, i hope) to offer you encouragement, and who you can share your concerns, struggles, triumphs and feelings with about the whole process. I have a great support base of family and friends (both near and far) who send their love to me. But I have done the majority of my training alone. This was fine in the beginning, but after about 6 weeks - it got kinda lonely and was very hard to push myself like I need to.

This is a very physical process, but it also seems to be a very emotional one too. I am sorting through thoughts and feelings that I've not really had to deal with in over 15+ years. To have an outlet for it all is so important. You might consider starting your own blog. :)

Friend, i hope to hear from you again. Let's help one another to run with perseverance this race (any kind) that has been set before us and we have made the choice to journey. Thank you again for inspiring me.

Monday, June 21, 2010


So, yesterday (Sunday) I went on my jog/walk around the campus as I have been doing for the last few Sundays. The weather was actually kind to me. In the midst of dripping sweat, and feeling my calves becoming more defined - I let my mind wander.

The last 2 weeks have been less than motivational. I've skipped workouts and have really not bad much attention to the food and drinks I've put in my body.

I started thinking - and I can be fairly logical when I need to be (or when no one is looking)! :) If I am so stubborn and lazy to not really monitor my eating habits, then what is the point of working out?!? If I have a great morning run, but eat a greasy cheeseburger for NO other reason that I just wanted one...then all the sweat, tears, panting, burning, and sometimes limping have been voided out.

In the book of Romans, Paul talks about where sin and evil behavior increase, God's exention of grace increases all the more. But should we continue in wrong behaviors so that grace could increase? In other words, is grace a license to do wrong? Of course not. The same thing is true in my case - does working out more give me free reign to continue to make unhealthy choices...of course not.

Every time I make an unhealthy choice...a portion of my journey has become pointless. If my goal (aside from the half-marathon) is to become healthy and build good habits, working out alone will not do it. For me, there must be a conscious effort to choose the apple over the Hershey's bar, the salad over the burger, and the water over the endless IV of coffee and sodas.

I don't want my journey to become moot because I wanted to cheeseburger. I don't want all the hard work to be totally and completely pointless.

Please help me to run with true perseverance this race set before me - and to stay the course with diligence.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hunka hunka Burnin Calves

I went running this morning - but it sure felt like was starting from scratch. I was very winded, and sweaty - and my CALVES WERE KILLING ME!!!

However, I pushed through at made my 25 minute scheduled walk.

Do any of you run, and your muscles not burn? Will there ever be a moment when my body, as a whole, will move like a well-oiled machine - everything working as it should, no pain, cramping, burning, stinging, panting, tearing...etc?

Perhaps one day - but I assure was not that day.

Keep the Faith, Stay the Course - and Run with Perseverance this race that's marked for us!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Blisters are not Bliss

Today - I could only manage about 10 minutes of walking because my sneakers rubbed so fiercely on my poor little 'piddies,' - I almost cried. I think I may need to talke the advice of a friend and go to a shoe store that can fit the perfect shoe to my not-so-perfect feet.

Last night I had Taekwondo, and was swapping running stores with a friend of mine. She was telling me how she went on a 5 mile run on Saturday morning, and a 4 mile run yesterday (at a 10-minute mile pace). She said to me, "Saturday was wonderful. My husband and I went on a run at a comfortable pace - about an 11-minute mile..." I must confess I was not only jealous, but began to beat myself up for not trying harder, and pushing myself more.

After class was over, we resumed our conversation about running - and shoes came up. She recommened a local store for quality, good fitting shoes. She told me that she had been running for over 3 years. I remembered my thoughts from before. I've been 'running' for 4 and a half months. In those 4.5 months, I've managed to find myself with an average running pace of between 14:10 and 14:40. Needless to say, I stopped being so hard on myself. :)

Am I where I want to be? Nope! Am I where I need to hope? Nope! Am I where I was? NOPE!!!!! I think sometimes (atleast for me) we look at the acheivements of others and say to ourselves, "I'll never be able to do that" or "I wish I could do that." Then we begin to beat ourselves up for the decisions we've made. Next thing ya know, we are so bruised, broken and blistered that we can barely put our shoes on to go for a walk. That just seems so counterproductive to me.

What would happen if we evaluated those poor choices, came up with solutions to fix them, gave ourselves an inspirational pep talk stating our goals, purposes and means to meet those goals - THEN laced up our sneakers and hit the road? I think we'd be able to walk/run longer, harder and/or faster than ever.

Right now, it's not about what I have done or not done, or even whether I can keep up with other people. It's about being a little more and a little better than the day before. If I think I cannot go any find something within me to push just a few more feet - that, my friends, is the pinnacle of change.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Week 5 Recap

This week has been, well...kinda crappy for working out. I punked out a couple of times. Everything things seemed to be hinky, and I had little motivation.

But today, I got up early so that I could get my 5 miles out of the way before humidity took over the day. It took me about an hour and half, and I could totally tell that I hadn't trained during the week like i usually do. My shins and calves burned so I could barely walk.

But I got it done.

At this time, in 83 days, I'll be in my hotel room (probably curled up in a little ball) - having accomplished that, which to me, seemed impossible.

In the meantime, i have no doubt that I will have more days of punk-outs and push throughs. It is all a huge learning experience.

Maybe your goal is not a half marathon. Maybe it's that your body won't ache so much, or you want to see your kids grow, and play with your grandchildren. Maybe for you, you simply want to get out of bed in the mornings and not be in pain. Whatever your goal is, set your sights on it. Things will come and try and steal your focus, but you/we have to stay steadfast. There will always be more things to do - but we have to learn to do things for ourselves that will allow us to do those things.

Here is your challenge for this week (week 6 for me) - Think about what goal it is you want to accomplish and the timeframe you want to do it in. It doesn't have to be fitness related. It can be any goal and any time frame. I'd like you to post it in the comments section below (or on Facebook), or if you'd prefer - send it via email.

Sometimes, when we hear about the goals of others, it helps us reach our own because we take a little comfort in knowing that we are know alone.

We are not a lone at all. Let's go, all the way, with perseverance. I am confident that we will make it.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Punk-outs, Push-Throughs and Perseverance

What a week for me...

For the 1st time in over 4 weeks, I punked out on a morning run on Wednesday. I was so emotionally drained that I simply didn't want to go. And you better believe that as I donned my instructor uniform at our belt ceremony, i thought about the moment i'd lost. And, yes, regret set in.

Sometimes it is so very hard to find the mental and emotional motivation - that I must go beyond that and do what needs to be done because it needs to be done; not because I want to, or I feel like it. That is a tough lesson I'm learning.

Yesterday, I felt the same way. I didn't want to go walking. BUT...I did it anyway. While I was walking, I was faced with several emotions about a lot of things. It's a really good thing that traffic was light - I'm sure I looked like a COMPLETE idiot with tears streaming down my face as I walked. I pushed through it, and got a mile and a half under my belt.

Let me also put this out there. I love Jesus, no question. And while i'm walking, running, sweating and panting - i talk to Him a lot. Sometimes its about spiritual things; sometimes its not. I'm not gunna get preachy (this time), but needless to say - He is the reason for my race. I'm learning (albeit slowly) a lot about my journey of faith through my journey on the pavement. Some of it is SO refreshing and wonderful. Some of it is refining and painful. But all of it is necessary and good.

The choice (unfortately sometimes) to punk-out, or push through is solely mine. "With great power, comes great responsibility." I'm not working toward being "punk-out free" just to do it less.

If you are having a tough week, lets push through it. Feeling completely inept? Push through. Feeling lost? Push through. Feeling like you wanna punk-out every 5 secs? <--- Courtney push through.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Last Few Days

It's been several days since my last entry. Things have gone a little whirly, so unfortunately the blog (but not the training) had taken a back seat.

Last Friday (6/4) I had the day off, so I decided to go to Lake Ella to do my walk/jog. I must confess that I didn't like it very much. Ducks everywhere and to be honest...the smell was a little stifling. But I digress. After 25 minutes, and determined to make the most out of my remaining 10 minutes, I decided to try a little interval training. What i wanted to do, was to walk/run from lamp post to lamp post. HOWEVER, i am not all that comfortable or confident in what my body (particularly my stomache) does when I run full-out. I battled with myself past several lamp posts, until I threw in the proverbial towel and mental screamed at myself..."WHAT DO YOU CARE??????" It's not what you maybe thinking. I had an intense debate with myself, but the good thing is...I won. What do I care what people may say about me, or how they look at me? What do I care if I don't have the exact runner's body (yet)? Most of my fears are from things that I don't really know if they go on...For example, does the guy in the car really snicker as I run past, does the girl that runs past me as I pant and sweat thing me a complete doofas, does someone say...."Oh My God, Look at her stomache, it's like SOOOOOOO big"? Nah, probably not, it's the perception i have of my own hang-ups and how I feel about myself.

So, I finally had to say - what/why do I really care? This journey isn't between me and so-and-so, it's between me and...well, me! [Dear Courtney, stop being a complete putz. Do what you need to do to meet your goals, regardless of what you may or may not think. Step it up, woman! Love, Courtney]

Saturday (6/5) was the first day in 4 weeks that I missed my training. Due to a Taekwondo function, I wasn't able to run in the morning, and by the afternoon, Tallahassee was besieged with thunderstorms. I still would have gone if it had been raining only. I need to learn to run in the rain, just in case it rains the day of the race. But thunderstorms, fahgetaboutit!

Sunday (6/6) was my long run day. 2 miles at a brisk pace. I started at about 8:30a.m. I ran about .25 miles and could barely breathe. The air was thick with humidity. I felt like I was trying to breathe through a mask of hot, damp air. I did manage to finish my 2 miles in just under 36 minutes. Not my best; not my worst. It was just a tough day mentally for me.

Monday (6/7) was supposed to be a day of rest. But, because of some events with work, I ended up walking, shopping, lifting, and sweating at Wal-Mart for 4.5 hours. So, I exchanged my day of rest for today.

This journey to healthy living is a beast sometimes. It can be trying, long and often times the results come in small increments - that can go unnoticed. So I have to constantly remind myself of the goals that have already been met, acheivements already revelled in, challenges that have been overcome, and those who have been inspired and who inspire me.

The last few days have almost gotten the best of me. Sometimes...I have to close my eyes, visualized the finish line and what it will feel like to cross it, and to imagine all the people on the sidelines who have encouraged and pushed me to be better, cheering me on. Because of that...I will lace up my runnin shoes in the morning, and continue this journey. In 87 days, it won't be my will be my reality.

Until we meet again...lets encourage and push one another to keep running/walking with perseverance this race (whatever it may be) that has been set before us, and continue to throw, peel, push and sweat off EVERYTHING and ANYTHING that holds us back from being the best we can be, and living in the abundant life.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

"Daylight, I must wait for the Sunrise...

...I must think of a new life and I mustn't give in..." A song that is closer to my heart than any other. This phrase, in particular, is fitting for today. As crappy as I felt yesterday, and wondering why I was doing what I was doing...I got up, earlier than usual to walk. Today was a simple, 20-minute stroll. Half way through my walk, I was still thinking about many things - and I decided to jog. So, I picked up my pace and ran for 2 minutes at a 13:40 pace. 2 full minutes...that's a first for me. Then I walked a bit, ran another minute; walked a bit then ran another 45s at the same pace.

Afterwards, I felt better; much better. My body defied the odds, and I like that. :) So...while today as still full of emotion, doubt, and deep pensivity... "...I must think of a new life, and I mustn't give in..."

Today, I ran with all the perseverance I could find. Today, I didn't give in. Today...His mercies were new.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Not a sound from the Pavement

I've put off writing this entry as long as I could. Today was 35 minutes at a fairly easy pace, but I wanted to start doing some interval training. As I listened to very monotonous music, with a decent techno beat - I had an overwhelming urge to give quit right then and there. Not sure where it came from, or why that feeling came...but it did.

This is the beginning of week 4 of my marathon training...and I've been feeling very alone. I get up in the morning, and head out of the door with only myself and David (the little yellow guy that runs on my iTreadmill app). But he doesn't provide much comfort because he goes and goes and never breaks a sweat.

I guess the important thing is that in spite of how I felt - I didn't quit. I persevered through my 35 minutes even though I really didn't want to. I've had 3 really good weeks of achievements and personal bests. Mountain tops without the valleys tend to lose their majesty and grandeur. However, what made this valley different that others I've ventured that I kept going. Only having enough light to stand on, there wasn't a chance to admire the beauty down below - but that's ok. Next time, I'll be sure to pack a bigger flash light.

There are 3 months until September. Sometimes, while I'm laying in bed at night - I have my doubts about this whole deal. I wonder if I'll actually make it to the finish line. I asked my best friend if she thought I could do it, and without hesitation or batting an eyelid she said, "absolutely". Today...I don't have that kind of faith in me. Maybe tomorrow.

No doubt that I'll have a few more days where I simply don't wanna...but for now, I'll keep putting one foot infront of the other. The mercies of the Lord are new each and EVERY morning.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Not as Fast...but Faster

Not as Fast as I would like, but Faster than ever before. At least this is how I felt this morning as I journeyed my very first consecutive 4-mile trek. I ran the first mile in 14:40, the first 3 miles in 50:19; total time, 1:07. It took me much shorter than I accepted and there's no doubt that those first 3 miles were MUCH easier than the previous 2 Sundays.

I wish I could just let my mind wander while I run, and not focus on the searing pain in my calves, back and sholders (none of which I'm terribly worried about, other than it's annoying)`. Maybe it will get easier...I sure do hope so.

I started at the FSU track, and there was a young man running on the far inside lane. He had such a beautiful kick...I dream of the day when I look that good. :)

During the last .75 miles, I felt a little lonely. I let the feeling come, started to jog - and then it passed. I knew I couldn't stop, I had to keep going.

We'll see this week holds. Let's keep running with perseverance this course we are on. :)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Interval training

Man, Oh man! So, I found this really cool interval training podcast - So, I thought I'd try it out today. The first week's podcast was 30 minutes. I only managed to get through 15 minutes of it before my shins were burning so badly I could barely take another step. I feel like such a wimp. :)

However, on a happy note - I did lose 3 pounds this week. For those of you who don't know...I am a member of Weight Watchers. It's a TERIFFIC program. The basic premis is that foods are assigned point values based on calories, fat and fiber. One thing I need to do better on is being more mindful of how many points I actually consume on a day-to-day basis.

Tomorrow will be a very active day. It's my first 4-mile and, plus I have a black belt work out in the afternoon. I'm VERY glad I have monday off.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Today...just Today!

Today I pushed myself a little harder than usual. I managed to jog out a mile in 14:23. Pretty sweet! My average pace time, though, went up a little - and my total distance went down, neither by a huge amount. Now I think what I need to work on is being able to maintain a 15-minute mile for more than just 15 minutes. I need to be able to maintain that speed while jogging for 20 minutes (at first). I'm pretty sure it will come.

If you had asked me, "Courtney, do you think you'll be able to run a 15-minute mile after just 2 full weeks of training?" I would have scoffed and come up with some whitty come back. But I've done it, not once, but twice.

Things are coming together: I've registered for the race in Virginia Beach and booked my hotel. I'll soon be booking my flight from JAX to VB. My training is consistant and my body is responding fairly well, I think. Some things I need to work on - in the midst of this success: I've increased my water intake, but need to lay off the coffee and sodas; less eating out, more veggies, and being consistant in incorporating strength training with my race training.

It's good to celebrate success, but I like to have new goals in my crosshairs.

Still runnin, tryin' to do it with perseverance.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Out for a Stroll

Today - a 20-minute stroll. No goals, no agenda; just constant light movement for 20 minutes. The weather was fantastic again! (Thank you, Lord!) Yesterday, I pushed hard so it was nice to just go 'out for a stroll' this morning. My best friend even came with me. :)

It as a pretty uneventful morning. And that is ok! Let me share something that I've learned. If you have a goal, one of the biggest components to meeting that goal is having a plan. Then being consistent about following that plan. I've been using this: Half Marathon Training: Walkers. Each day is already planned for me, I just need to do it. This keeps me from saying, "well, I really don't know what to I'll research tonight and then start tomorrow." Tomorrow will be come today, which becomes yesterday - and before you know it...a week or two has gone by.

Also in my plan: 2 built-in days of rest. SO IMPORTANT!!! Before I started this journey, I would just do what I needed to in order to make it to the day of rest - but then feel guilty because I was taking rest, knowing that I hadn't really worked hard before getting there. NOW - I work hard in between, and am grateful for those 2 days. I feel no guilt at all. Instead, I feel a sense of accomplishment because I know that those 2 days are like a reward for my diligence.

In the beginning, it may not be about setting huge goals, or gym memberships, or even half-marathons. For you, dear friend, it may simply be about being consistent to a plan. If your plan to begin with is walking for 10 minutes a day, 3 days a week - do just that and nothing more. Once you realize that you can do'll WANT to add either another day or 2 or more time.

When I was working with a personal trainer - the first time she said "We're going for run"... I was TERRIFIED!!! I've been overweight all my life, and had awful images in my head about what I would look like while running, how my body would feel, and what others might think when they saw me running. After all was said and done...I was completely shocked at what my body could do. Yes, I felt totally awkward. Yes, initially there was a lot of pain. Yes, I'm sure that ignorant people scoffed and jeered. But I did it. First it was 15 seconds, then 30, 45 and then a minute (with equal amounts of walking in between). Then we repeated it 7 more times. During those last couple of sets...I thought I was going to die. I couldn't breathe, my entire body was wracked with pain, and I wanted to chop off my legs from the knee down (figuratively speaking). But I lived, and actually craved to do it again because I was enthralled with what my body was actually capable of in spite of my size and horrible joint condition.

Now, I am able to run a mile in 15 minutes. Is it because I have become a super athlete over night. OF COURSE NOT!!! It's because of 1 thing: Consistency. I do my best to be consistent in my training AND in my blogging (which has proved to be a great accountability tool for me).

I have no idea how many people read this, I hope there are lots. But even if for just one - YOU can do this. The path to healthy living is not a destination, it is a lifelong journey. My journey will not stop at the finishline in Virginia Beach in a few months. That is simple a mile marker.

Whether we run, walk, waddle or crawl - let's do it with perseverance always keeping the true prize of Christ in our focus, and always make effort to throw off everything that holds us back.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Great start to Week 3

Well...technically yesterday started my week 3 of training, and my day of rest was good. But today was GRRRRREAT once I made the choice to get my rumpus out of beddus! I debated for about 15 minutes this morning on whether to do my training in the evening. But I knew that if I did that - i might not walk. And I thought about all those who have supported me thus far. So...I got up! :)

Today's schedule was to walk for 3o minutes. Instead...I jogged a mile in 15 minutes, went 1.86 miles in the 30 minutes, and my average pace time was 16:14. Plus, of the 30 minutes, I only walked 10 minutes of it.

However, my left knee is a little tender. So...I'm gunna start adding my knee exercises into my routine. For those who don't know, here is the knee set (to be done in succession to one another). While laying on your back (flat or propped up on your elbows), bend the right leg and extend the left. While lifting the left leg off the floor and flexing your foot toward your body, do the following:
  • trace the alphabet from A - Z (26)
  • make circles with your heal (25)
  • bend your leg toward your chest, then extend (but not fully) (25)
  • straighten left leg, and lift it up and down without the leg hitting the floor (25)

Repeat this sequence with the right leg. The goal would be to eventually do all 4 exercises with each leg without stopping. These exercises help to strengthen the muscles surrounding the knee cap. Warning!!! these are hard as all get out, but SOOOOOOO beneficial.

Looking forward to tomorrow's training, and another opportunity to throw off all that could hold me back.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Dear Anonymous:

I have had several encouraging comments on this blog by Mr. or Ms. Anonymous. I completely understand if you would like to remain undisclosed. However, if you would like to make yourself known to me, and aren't exactly sure how to show your name...perhaps this link might help: How Do I leave a Comment? I myself had to read it so I could understand how commenting works.

If you would like to remain anonymous on the blog, but wouldn't mind letting me know who you are privately, please send me an email to

Your comments are so vital to me. I read them often. Please continue to send them.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sweating Like an Athlete (W2,D7)

Today's 3 miles was really good! :) I managed to knock out the first mile in 16:30 - AND finished the total run in 51:59. On top of that, I was able to drop my average pace time to 17:20. I was able to jog for 10 minutes without stopping, and then continued to alternate between walking and jogging.

Needless to say, it was a great training day. Definitely no room for "stinkin' thinkin' "

It's amazing, though, at what goes through my mind while running. Sometimes I become a little self-concious, praying that no one is watching me. But those thoughts are quickly squeezed out by the necessity to control my breathing. And that soon takes a back seat to the BURNING in my shins and calves. Then, begins the battle between my flesh and my spirit. My flesh says to stop, the pain is too much, no one will know... My spirit says to keep running with perseverance this race toward the goal that has been set before me. Today, my spirit won out.

As I continued to run/walk - I often glanced between my watch and my Ipod (because I use the iTreadmill), and I noticed - with some satisfaction - the sweat glistening off my arm. Then I felt it trickle down my face and neck. Normally, any girl in their right mind would find this absolutely disgusting. But, I felt like an athlete, and I loved it!

I WILL continue to run with perseverance this race that is before me, and work to throw off all that entangles me. Let's Do This!!!!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010


So...according to my training schedule, I was to take a 30-minute stroll today. Instead...I assisted in 2 VERY active junior TaeKwonDo classes. Tomorrow, I'm goin for another 3-mile walk - and will probably go to the track at Florida State and see if I can cut down my time a little. Last Sunday, I did 3 miles in around 57 minutes.

Here is where self-doubt sets in. The average time for a 5k is between 30 and 40 minutes. To shave that much time off my personal time before June 19, seems totally overwhelming. If I think about it too long, I just might talk myself out of it. So, i just keep pluggin along - trying to do my best for the day I'm in.

I've never been a runner, or even an active walker for that matter. I'm afraid that when I tell people that I'm gunna do a 5k or a half-marathon, that they get this image in their head about my fitness level. This is a HUGE struggle for me. There are many times when i tend to lose my purpose, or forget what and why i'm doing what I'm doing. But I have people around me who, in the own wonderful way, cheer me on toward the finish line. I hope that they continue to do so, because without them...I tend to wander aimlessly.

On the other hand, I feel a sense of purpose in my journey of jogging. Each step I take erases the cruel names I was called as a child, and the hateful things that have been said to me over the years. Each time my calves and shins burn in pain, I feel a little more justified and empowered. It is on the pavement that fear and triumph meet, head to head in a battle - tearing down habits of the past and rebuilding the future.

To you faithful few - who read this blog and comment often of inspiration and encouragement...THANK YOU. You can't know how much that means to me - and how inspiring you have become in my journey.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

W2, D4

It was GORGEOUS outside this morning. It had a smokey, moist smell - which reminded me of the mission trip I took several years ago to Honduras. Needless to say, my morning walk/jog was filled with many pleasant memories.

As I walked/jogged down memory lane, I thought I would do a a little interval training while I as there. After a 2 minute warm up walk, I started the this walking/jogging progression; 15s-30s-45s-1min. Then reversed it: 1min-45s-30s-15s. Then did a 5 minute walk at a leisurely purposed pace, then jogged for 2m:33s. Then another 5 minute walk, and a jog for 3m:10s. Finally, a 2 minute walk and a 20s 'sprint'.

I was not really concerened today about distance or pace time, but here is the general information:
Total Time: 30 minutes
Distance: 1.61 miles
Avg Pace: 18:37
Walking Pace: 18:30 - 19:45
Jogging Pace: 14:30 - 15:30
Sprint Pace: 13:45

I'm pleased with the progress, and am seeing small improvements. They key is consistancy, and to not be afraid to push myself a little harder. I'm looking forward to tomorrow's day o' rest.

Hebrews 12:1

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Week 2, day 2 & 3

Yesterday's training was an easy 30-minute walk. However, I wanted to challenge myself, so I set a goal of 1.5 miles in that timeframe - which I met. I was able to shave 1:03 off of my pace mile. I still need to get it down another 3-4 minutes, but that will come over time.

During the first mile yesterday, I thought I might need to just chop off my legs from the knees down. I had the worst shin splints I've had in a long time. BUT...i pushed through and didn't quit until I had done with the mile. That's huge for me.

Today's training was a 20-minute 'stroll' at a 'window shopping' speed. So, in order to maximize my time...I took that stroll in Walmart, which is where I started off my work day at 8:30 this morning. It was a slow pace, but I can feel every muscle in my legs working together.

My energy level has been kind of low these last couple of days. I think I need to track how much water i'm drinking because I am almost 100% sure it's not enough, and I need to get some more fruits and veggies in my diet.

Struggling today to do anything with perseverence. I pray tomorrow will be better.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Week 2, Day 1

I was VERY grateful for today's day of rest. I was excited that I was not sore, from this past week - but I totally needed a day to sleep in and not be concerned about the morning walk. But, I am excited to go out tomorrow morning, and walk my 30 minutes. There isn't a distance goal on the schedule, but my personal goal is 1.5 miles.

32 days until BBVAC 5k
110 days until Half-marathon.

Walking with perseverence and purpose. Always working toward throwing off all that holds me back.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sweaty Day 7

Today's training: 3 miles. Even though there wasn't a time limit on my 3 miles, I set one for myself. I wanted to finish today in under an hour...which I did!

I hitched a ride with my best friend to her work, and then walked back to the apartment - which is a little over 3 miles. I've made that journey one other time before a couple of years ago, but it took me about 2 hours 45 minutes.

I realized a few things this morning: this journey really is made by putting one foot infront of the other; step by step. I could have turned back and asked to be taken home, or i could have called someone to pick me up. And part of me wanted to. Once I turned the corner from Hartsfield on to Misson Rd., I felt a little discouragement settle in because I saw just how much road was ahead of me. It took quite a bit of energy to find my groove so that each step was purposeful. But I did. I had to trick my brain by setting small distance goals: 'I can make it to the speed limit sign; the stop light, the subdivion'; rinse and repeat.

Realization numero dos (#2) - About halfway through my walk, I felt a very painful stinging in my eyes - and finally understood why people where headbands. I think I just might have to get one of my own - Hot pink perhaps. :)

Realization #3 - this half marathon is gunna be crazy. If I felt overwhelmed about the couple of miles ahead of me, I can't even imagine what will go through my head the day of the event. Some of the emotions might be: excitement, fear, nearvousness, lonliness, joy, sadness - among others, i'm sure. But I must remind myself often, that the only way to get from start to finish is one step at time, walking in the moment, thinking of nothing else.

i'm also learning just how awesome the human body is, and what it's capable of doing. more to come on that later.

Running with perseverance this race set before step at time.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Training Day 6

Today's goal was to walk 30 mintues.

I've not been feeling 100% the last couple of days, and so I just wanted to stay home. But at 7:30 tonight, I pushed past the sickening feeling in my tummy, and went for a walk - totally convinced that my walk would make me feel better.

I began my walk and the next thing I knew...I'd hit the walkers groove. Arms swinging in graceful time with the opposite leg.

I exeeded my goal by 8 minutes - and tackled 2 miles. Of those 2 miles, i jogged 2 sets of .25 miles, 1 of which was at a 14:55 pace. I was quite pleased.

Working every day to run with perseverence this race that is ahead of me.

Training day 5

On the training grid - yesterdays marathon training was a day of rest. I know that rest is an EXTREMELY important part of the big picture...but I kind of found it hard to. I wanted to go walking/jogging. In all honesty, I probably could have walked and been ok; however, once the training become more intense as the weeks go on...those days of rest will become so vital.

I am thinking, too, that I need to start adding a daily strength training routine: push-ups, crunches, etc. These things will help to make me stronger in the long run (no pun intended).

Sometimes, when I think about the big picture...I get butterflies in my tummy. It seems sureal that I am actually going to do this. The always-pudgy kid...has finally gotten her act together and is going to finish a half-marathon. Wow! **huge, cheezy, smiley grin**

34 days until my 1st 5k (june 19)
112 days unitl half marathon (sept 5)

C'mon - let's run with perseverance this race marked out for us and kick to the curb EVERTHING that holds us back!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Training Day 4

So, according to Hal Higdon's Training to walk a half-marathon plan, I was to walk for 30 minutes at an easy pace. There is a small part of me that wonders if this walking plan was meant for people who are in some semblace of shape - which I'm not. So, I did about a 20 minute mile, then jogged a 8 minute half mile.

Part of my training over the next few months will be telling my brain to SHUT UP! When I start running, and get a little winded - my brain often tells my body to stop what its doing because it shouldn't be out of breath. For all of its smarts, my brain can be so dumb sometimes.

I have NO INTENTION of running the entire half-marathon. However, I do have 2 goals: 1) to Finish, and 2) to not be last.

Some cool (to me) relizations: I can actually jog .5 miles and be ok; my heart rate returns to normal fairly quickly (it takes about a minute); while jogging, the sound of my knees no longers elicits pain.

for me, this is like discovering the world again, for the first time. I've been overweight all my life. I've never really been athletic, minus and aptitude for TaeKwonDo. To be able to run 20 paces and not keel over, is great - to run a half a mile and not die is AWESOME, to finish a half marathon - UNBELIEVABL!!! Run with Perseverace this race marked out for us. Today, the word that that jumps out to me is perseverance. What does it mean? To keep going, not give up. We will probably stumble, and may even fall, but with perseverance - we always get back up and find the right path. To me, it also means tenaciously fighting for the goal - doing MY best for that particular moment.

Be encouraged, friend - we are not alone!!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Declaration of Participation

It's getting late - and I'm getting ready to turn in for tonight. However, before I did, I wanted to stake my claim; stand my ground! It's time for me to truly learn to Run with perseverance this race that has been marked out in my heart.

To all who will read this: I declare that I am going to run in the Rock 'n Roll Half marathon in Virgina Beach, VA on September 5th, 2010 (which happens to be my...30th birthday.)

No more excuses. I admit my fear of failure, and will learn to push through it. I saw a quote from a friend that said, "Feel the fear and do it anyway".

I have changed my choice for the June 5k. I am now planning to run in the BBVAC -
Run for one, run for all 5k on June 19.

If you have any advice, encouragement, questions, or if you want to walk/run with me...please email me.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Learning to Walk

So, tomorrow begins a small step toward training for a 5K in June - The Walk to Cure Diabetes

Here is my Walking Plan My plan is to participate in 1 5K each month for June, July and August...and then...I take on a half-marathon on my 30th birthday.

This wallking plan will be coupled with strength training and TaeKwonDo.

Here we go...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Part of History and Healing

Today, I was a part of history and healing. There is a young lady named Lauren Book-Lim who suffered years of sexual abuse as a child at the hand of her nanny. Years later, she began to talk about the abuse in order to bring healing not only to herself but to others. In the process she started an organization called "Lauren's Kids" (

In order to bring awareness to the horrific act of sexual abuse, and to pave the way for healing and restoration...she embarked on a journey. For the last 18 days, ending today, she trekked across the state of Florida starting in Aventura, and ending in Tallahassee at the state's capitol.

For the final mile and a half, advocacy groups, politicians and individuals marched from Governor's Square mall, down Apalachee Parkway to the capitol. I was a part of this. My only desire (at least that's the way it started) was to show my support to a complete stranger who showed courage, commitment, and compassion.

As I walked, I knew that somewhere in front of this 'sea' of blue shirts, was a 25 year old young lady, whom I had never met but felt somehow connected. As I walked, I thought about my own journey. Having suffered from abuse myself, I began to realize with each step i took, how over the course of my life...I had turned from victim to survivor.

There are moments when the effects of abuse still haunt me, the greatest of which is fear. Fear of trusting, fear of loving, fear of losing. Today, as I journeyed onward, each step trampled one of my biggest fears: the fear of doing. For me, and I hope many others, today marked a milestone on the journey of healing.

To Lauren: I can't even imagine how hard this journey has been for you. Thank you for your courage, and willingness to go beyond to make a difference. I know that many lives have been changed because of your journey...I am one of them.

To Everyone: Sometimes our journeys require us to traverse places that are dark and uncomfortable. But rest assured...darkness only lasts the night. Joy comes in the morning. If you have every been a victim of ANY kind of abuse...IT'S OK TO TALK ABOUT IT!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Finding Your Passion (part 2)

As I was laying in bed last night, I got to thinking that the title for yesterday's entry was related only by what was in my head. I would NEVER ask someone to dive into my brain. That is a very scarey place. So...let me clarify.

If our journey for weight loss and/or overall health is based ONLY on finding a cute bathing suit, or even becoming more shapely (or muscular for the men out there), then the posibility of the effects not being long lasting are increased. Bathing suits are only vaulable for a season, and with time, shape and muscles are much less important. These things, though not necessarily wrong, are temporal.

However, if many of our reasons for this journey are set outside of ourselves: to inspire others, to teach other people, and above all to honor the Lord...those things are infinite; they transcend time, leaving a legacy. These things are eternal.

For me, this journey is for both self-centered, and non-self centered. I don't mean "self-centered" in a negative way. I simply mean that the reasons and goals are centered around me: being able to move without pain, to not be held captive to old habits, to have more energy, etc. Non-self centered: To encourage and inspire other people, to show that Jesus died that we could live an abundant life and being slave to unhealthy habits and decisions isn't it.

I've been a musician most of my life. Through singing, I have provided entertainment value to many. I've received awards, commendations and standing ovations. And to be totally honest, those things were nice...for that moment. But for someone to say to me "Thank you for inspiring me," - There is nothing that tops that. For a friend to say, "Thank you for being committed to me..." - it brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. Clothes, brand name shoes, fancy cars are nice...for the moment. But to change someone's life, that, my friend, lasts a lifetime.

So, find your passion. What is it that you could talk about for hours, and that gets you so excited you can barely contain yourself? "Find your passion and make it your profession, and you'll never work again" - Janice Rockett

Lets run together with perseverance this race that is marked, and throw off everything that holds us back...EVERYTHING!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Finding your Passion

I had a comment on my last blog post asking how my weight loss journey was going and if I had any advice for those who may be struggling.

So...let me just put myself out there. A few weeks ago, I had a really rough weigh in where I not only gained 3.5 lbs, I also gained 3.5 inches. It was frustrating, dissapointing and embarrasing. Things were going so well, and then I hit a 2-week slump where I decided not to care about anything that had to do with health and fitness. On top of this, I got into a huge argument with my trainer.

Then I decided to change my workouts a little bit. I wanted to be able to incorporate yoga and now that it's getting warmer, I wanted to be able to go riding in the mornings. The past 2 weekends I've gone to the park and been biking, and then practiced TaeKwonDo at lakeside. Since then, I've take the 3.5 pounds/inches.

Last Wednesday, I received my black belt. At that moment, something in my heart and mind changed. I knew that I had accomplished a huge milestone, and it put me one step closer to be reaching my dream.

So, here is my advice to you, and to me: Find your passion, because it's that passion that can really help drive and motivate us to make good decisions. For me, when I'm running, or biking...I just imagine what my school will look like and it reminds me why I'm doing what I'm going.

Also, having a good support system is crucial. Whether it be a personal trainer, church community, or a small group of friends. Encouragement is SO important.

Getting on a weight loss program like Weight Watchers is a good idea. Being accountable to a group of people and a scale does help.

But the biggest piece of advice I could give ANYONE, is this...Don't measure success only by the number of pounds or inches you've lost. There are so many others things that make us successful: running for an extra 30 secs, holding an isomentric for 20 extra secs, doing more reps of an activity than you originally set out to do, how your clothes are fitting and how your body is feeling are usually better indicators of true success.

The fact that I can do traditional push-ups now, and run 1.5 miles are better mile markers on my journey than the pounds and inches. I never thought I'd have EVER been able to do those 2 things.

I hope this helps a little. Please don't feel like you are alone, because you aren't. If you need anything anything, you can email me at

Let us all run with perserverance this race set before us and throw off everything that holds us back!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Black Belt

No doubt last night was exciting and emotional. Last night, after 18 months of hard work, I received my Black Belt. What a journey!?! and it's only just begun.

In late August of 2008, I walked into the Tallahassee TaeKwonDo Academy with a dream. This dream is to one day become a full-time academy owner. But there are steps that must take place before the dream can happen. Last night was the start.

In mid-September, I tested for yellow belt. It was then that my friend, Georgia, and I made the committment to acheive Black Belt together. I wanted to honor that committment at whatever cost. Through her knee surgery, and my pain...through doubt, fatigue, frustration, and the slight desire to give up sometimes...last night was the fruition of that committment. We made Black Belt together.

There were a couple of time when my committment to Georgia was challenged, and I had to make a decision in my heart of whether or not I would honor it, regardless of the cost. Some thought that my decision was foolish, but I refused to waiver. It was too important to me.

Whoever said that overweight people can't do sports is a liar!!! I'm living proof! Don't get me wrong, there were many precautions to take, and conversations with doctors and instructors that should be taken. However, it is possible.

Many changes have taken place since I started in TaeKwonDo. I've learned a lot about myself. But none more important than this: becoming a black belt is very significant. It marks the end of one journey and the beginning of another. But a Black belt without character is worthless. Without the constant practice of honor, courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-contol, courage, community, strength, humility and knowledge...the belt becomes nothing more than an accessory.

To be in a position where people look to you for guidance and inspiration is incredibly humbling. I hope that when I have my testing/demonstration for my 6th degree Master (many years down the road) - that I will remember this moment...this journey. To always be mindful of the struggles along the way, the encouragement needed to keep going. That for me, it's not about the belt color, or how many gold bars there are...we all started from the beginning, and over time with committment, we can acheive whatever goals we've set.

I never want my belt to be just an accessory. I want to live a life worth of the calling. I will continue to run with perseverance this race marked out for me, and to throw off EVERYTHING that holds me back.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The "zone"

I've been on vacation for the last several days, but that doesn't mean that working out is put on the back burner. The first day I was here, I ran 1 mile. It was the first time...ever! But let me be VERY honest...I wanted to quit half way through. Everything was burning, I couldn't get a deep breath, and my loving brother (who was supposed to be running with me)...well, lets just say he made it home before I did. Now, let me tell you WHY I didn't stop running...a moment of vanity on my part. I wanted to be able to tell the entire facebook world, that I had indeed run a mile, and I didn't want it to be a lie. So, I kept going.

On Saturday, my brother and I went biking at a local park that has a great, paved sidewalk to walk/run/bike around its perimeter. 1 lap = 1.75 miles. He and I did 4 laps, but not continuously. Sunday, He and I went to that same park and pumped out 2 continuous laps, twice for a total of 7 miles.

But today...this morning I ran another mile non-stop. This time it wasn't because of a status update, or even this blog (which I thought about a lot while I was pounding the pavement). No, this one was to see if I could put myself in "the zone". That place for walkers/joggers/runners where it's just you and the road; where everything fades dramatically in the distance. I think I got there a few times, for a few seconds each; but each time some pain would bring me back to reality.

Today, I do not understand when people say, "I need to clear my head. I'm going for a run." I could barely muster up the thought process to put one foot in front of the other, let alone have long drawn out converstations with myself.

Does this mean I won't run again. Nah! There is a sense of accomplishment when I say that I just ran a mile. But I don't think that at this stage in my developement, that I would ever say I need to go running to clear my head. Perhaps someone could give me some advice on how to get into and stay in "the zone".

Despite the lack of zoneness...let us, you and I, run with perserverance, this race marked out for us, and throw off everything that so easily holds us down.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


I went to WW this past Saturday to face the scaley monster, and it breathed it's fire on me - showing that I gained weight. However, it was excepted because I paid no mind to what I put in my mouth. I had come to grips with the consequences of my decisions, determining my mind and my heart to do better. After that moment, i'd thought no more about the error until this morning.

I went to my trainer's house to do a morning workout - and because we didn't workout together Monday, and forgot about it yesterday...She took our measurements today. As she began to measure the various places...she simply asked why I had eaten so poorly the week before. It was the first time in the 2 months that we have been working out together that I heard disappointment in her voice. And it broke my heart.

The once forgotten lapse in judgment was now at the forefront of my mind, breaking my heart to know that those decisions cause the disappointment. Because of this, these mental and/or emotional blocks, today's workout was stressful for me. I was frustrated, quiet, and when asked what was on my mind...i refused to answer because I didn't want to lose the battle against the lump in my throat.

If you haven't noticed already, I'll tell you. I am sensative and emotional. I feel things deeply, things effect me harder. When I am upset or angry, I become quiet and withdrawn. These are neither positive or negative in and of themselves, but if left unchecked...can be either. I am reflective, but with that comes the tendancy to beat myself up over many things (which may or may not be my fault).

In short, I'm me: the good, bad and ugly. Working hard today to run with perserverance this race, and to throw off all that holds me down.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Judgment Lapse

This past week was a rough one on the scales. I gained 3.5 lbs. Even though I was working out, I was making really bad food choices, not really paying much attention to WW points. For about 3 days, I simply didn't care what went into my body. I wasn't drinking enough water, had too much coffee, sweets, and other delectibles.

I know that this race we're running is multi-facited journey, with lots of terrain changes. Sometimes it's a straight-away. It's low impact, breeze blowin, sun just coming up over the horizon. We're just poundin away at the pavements, not really thinking about what we are doing. Sometimes, it's downhill. A little more thought intensive: try not to speed up, and sit back a little more to keep pressure off of the knees. Still low impact, and makes us think we are not working as hard. But sometimes, it's an uphill battle. This, i think, is the most mentally draining phase of our race. More energy is used, strides have to be longer, we try not to drop out head and shoulders. Muscles burn, lungs burn...sometimes eyes burn from tears - trying to train the brain to obey. But even amidst this choas, this is the phase where we learn the most and triumph.

I take full responsibility for my lapse in judgment this past week. No one else shoved chocolate into my mouth...I did it all by myself...i'm a big girl! But, here is something that I observed. At night, when I'm really tired - I tend to not really care what I put in my mouth...and I want to eat all the time. Solution...GO TO BED!!! Also, when I'm home by myself, i tend to want to eat to pass the time...Solution: Go outside, to a coffee shop, to the lake...something other than sitting at home.

Life is NOT easy, and those who think it is...aren't truly living!

Let us (you and me) run with perserverance this race of life that has been marked for us - and throw off EVERYTHING that holds us back.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Rough Patch

So, after the eye-opening discoveries revealed in the last blog entitled "Heart Breaks" - I went through a really rough patch. My body seemed to shut down. I was tired ALL THE TIME, and I just didn't want to do anything but sleep. Then my body forced me to do just that - buy giving me a temperature of almost 102 for 2 days. I'm sure you can infer that morning work outs went out the window.

I have almost completely turned my lifestyle around 180 degrees. After 5 and half weeks, my brain and my body had had enough. I think that true rest is just as important in the exercise routine as the exercise itself. And I think that true rest is different for everyone. There is the kind of rest that your body needs everyday - Sleep. If you dont' have enough sleep, your body winds down and becomes unproductive. There is also rest for the mind and rest for the spirit. Rest for the mind, could be as simple as laying on your back gazing at the clouds, mindlessly feeding ducks at a local pond, watching a fun movie with a friend...activities that really don't take a lot of thought.

Spiritual rest is found in Matthew 11:28 where Jesus says "Come to me, you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest." There is nothing like being able to just sit in the presence of Jesus and No expectations or demands, no time constraints. Just enjoying who we are in Him. All three are absolutely necessary for success.

I will admit - during my rough patch...I rebelled a little. I was frustated with myself for even having gotten to this point where such a drastic change was necessary. I couldn't understand why, when I was making such good choices, was my body doing such weird things. But I think, for me, it was a see how committed I really was. The days when I was in bed with the fever - I was not committed AT ALL!!! I just wanted to sleep. But what showed the great mental change for me - was that I got back on track, picked up where I left off, and continued training.

I'm sure another time will come...when I get tired and/or sick, and don't want to work out or make good choices. I hope, however, I will be a little more ready and will go for a small walk before I collapse in bed for the remainder of the day. :)

We (you and i) can do this. Let us run with perserverance the rest marked out for us, and throw off everything that so easily keeps us down.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Heart Breaks

On Friday, March 5th...I went to a huge Christian concert at our civic center here in Tallahassee. It was fantastic! However, many things were happening in my heart. Let me share -

This journey of weight loss and healthy living has not been easy, but it has been wonderful. I have learned a lot - especially about myself. I love to "people watch" and as I was sitting in the stadium-style seating at the civic center (quite comfortably for the first time that i can remember)- I was doing just that. As I was scanning the crowd, a woman caught my eye. She was overweight, and beginning her ascension of the stairs from hell. Her head was down, lips tight and with every step...her face contorted in pain. She held onto the railing, trying to pull herself up the stairs in order to find some release from the pain in her joints. I tried not to, but I couldn't help but to stare. The next thing I knew...tears were trickling down my face. I was that woman 6 weeks ago. My heart broke and wanted to scream - "it doesn't have to be this way..."

No pun intended, but there is a heaviness that comes with being overweight. I'm not talking about the physical kind, although that does have a lot of effect on what/how we do things. I'm talking about the emotional and mental heaviness. I think we often feel like failures because we know we got ourselves into this mess, and feel helpless because we can't see a way out. We feel shame about what we've become - and how our bodies look and move; embarrased that we cant glide up and down stairs, or sit in chairs without "tucking" ourselves in. When we look in the mirror...those thoughts are magnified.

Not to mention the conflicting signals from society we get. The entertainment industry depicts "Be thin, or your nothing," while the majority of Americans are significanlty overweight...even dangerously so. Infomercials use already thin and fit people in their ads to entice to use their product...but I, as the viewer who needs to lose over 100 pounds, think to myself..."There is no way i could do that, or look like that." We see before and after photos side-by-side, never hearing about the journey inbetween.

For me, it's not the before and after I really need to hear's the struggle inbetween. It's the days that i don't want to get out of bed to meet with my trainer, or the days when the weather is cold or damp and it makes my knees ache, it's the days when I gain on the scale or can't finish a work out and have a breakdown...Those are the defining moments. Do I keep pokin' along or stop altogether because it's hard and painful?

You've made it this far in my blabbering - please stay for just a bit more. You and I...we are stronger than we know. God, Himself, created our inmost being. GOD!?! How could we not be strong?!? We are part of who He is. We are amazing and magnificant beings of value and worth. Please be encouraged. We are doing this journey together.

To the woman at the civic center on Friday, March 5...I saw you, and you moved my heart. It doesn't have to stay this (we) can overcome it all!

Let us (you and I) run with perserverance the race marked out for us and throw off everything that so easily stands in our way.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Weights and Measurements

I have debated since I started my training whether or not I wanted to disclose my weights and measurements. The main reasons that i didn't want to was because I was ashamed and afraid of judgment or ridicule. I have decided that those are not really Godly reasons. Romans 8:1-2 says "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death." and Galatians 5:1 says "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."

Because of these 2 verse...I must get over my shame and fear - they have no place in a life devoted to Christ. So...

The heaviest I've ever weighed... 326 (Jan 1, 2009)
The weight I started WW at... 316 (Aug 1, 2009)
Weight before 3 month gap at WW... 303 (Nov 7, 2009)
Weight at Doc. Appt in January... 311
Weight after 3 weeks with Trainer... 303.2 (Feb 20, 2010)
Weight after 4 weeks of training... 306 (Feb 27, 2010)

Measurements coming soon...

Small Set-back

In conjunction with working out, I'm also going to Weight Watchers (WW). I've tried WW before, and they have really revamped their program. I personally think it's the best out there, a nutshell, it helps you to prioritize foods by assigning points. The foods that are good for you are lower in points, while the foods that are not-so-good for you have a higher point value.

In a totally honest moment here - I've not been very good about keeping track of the points I eat each day - for no other reason than laziness. I must do better if I'm to truly be successful.

In November of last year, I stopped going to WW. First it was because the week led to 2, 2 weeks led to 4 - and before I knew had been 3 months since I'd been to a weigh-in or meeting. In that 3 month span, I caught a pretty nasty cold and had to go to the doctor. When they weighed me - I had gained 11 pounds. I had been working with my trainer 3 weeks, before I went back to WW - and hand lost the 11 lbs.

Here's the set-back...when I went to WW this past Saturday, I had gained 2.8lbs. I can pinpoint the gain to several things, a few of which were not in my control...but the majority were. Such as...portion sizes and 2nd helpings...these kill me. My brain tells me that I actually need more to be satisfied than I actually do. Another thing that I think resulted in the gain was not eating breakfast. I had been eating breakfast faithfully every morning, except for last week, when I ran out of my peanut butter crackers and string cheese. Good reason? NOPE! Exuse? You betcha...but an honest one.

For the first time in my 29 years, exercise is not the issue (thanks, Coach!). So, here is my committment: I will track my food and point values today through friday. Saturday, I'll weigh in. Then the goal will be to track my points 4 days a week to start. I'm sure that people will think that this tracking is cumbersome - and it might be...but it is a great step in becomeing fully aware of oneself and what exactly goes into the body. We can do this!!

Let us run with perserverance the race marked out for us, and throw of EVERYTHING that so easily entangles.

Friday, February 26, 2010

End of Week 4

Today marks the end of my 4th week of training. It has been a crazy journey thus far, and it still seems a little sureal to me. I can see changes in my body: muscular definition, strength and endurance. I can feel changes in my body: less pain in my back and knees. I can see changes in my clothes: I'm down a size in shirts and my current pair of jeans are so big they make me nervous sometimes. :D

Last night at TaeKwondo (which I've been training in for about a year and half), we did an endurance drill. On a focus (or hand) pad that our partner was holding, we did 50 fast punches, 10 push-ups, 40 fast punches, 10 push-ups, 30 fast punches, 10 push-ups, 20 fast punches and 10 push-ups for a grand total of 140 fast punches and 40 push-ups. 50...not hard, barely breathing heavy, arms aren't tired. 40...a little harder, but still not bad. 30...arms are burning, breathing is heavy. Last 20...HORRIBLE, arms are like jell-o, breathing is very labored. This was the general progression of the class. HOWEVER, because I have an AMAZING trainer, who "torchers" me every morning between 7 and 8am...this exercise was challenging, but not death. My punches were fast and accurate, and my push-ups were not modified (meaning that I did them on my toes, not my knees)...all 40 of them.

Driving home from class, I smiled at myself in the rear view mirror because I saw a glimpse of who I could become if I keep up the training. Have I arrived? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!! I'm not even close...but I'm closer! It is kind of like the movie National glimpse, one clue leads to another and another, until finally the treasure is found. For me, each choice, each victory, each lesson learned...leads to another and another, until one day I reach the treasure of Heaven. And there...I pray with all my heart - I hear my Father say, "I know you! Well done, good and faithful servant."

Until then...Let us (you AND I) run with perserverance the race marked out for us, and through off EVERYTHING that so easily hinders and holds back.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Week 4, days 1-3

This week did not have a great start. Our first work out had to be pushed up an hour - meaning that it started at 6am instead of 7am. Because of this, among other things, everything seemed to go wrong. The workout was harder, my body hurt more - and toward the chest was tight and I was having trouble breathing deeply. Yep, you guessed it...another mental breakdown. As I lay on my back, desparately trying to take long, deep breaths; tears trickled down my face. I felt like such an idiot. But my trainer and friend, was so kind, doing her level best to comfort and encourage me. "Mental breakdowns happen to even the best athletes"...and then she shared some of her mental-jello moments. And while it was comforting on a certain level, where I was at that moment - I was still so embarrased, frustrated and angry...with myself.

It was my choices that had landed me right where I was; lying flat on my back, muscles burning, chest heaving and tears pouring down my face. But... was my choice to get up, come to the workout (as aweful as it was), and perservere in some form or fashion...that choice ended the cycle of destruction, and set my feet on a journey to healhty living.

Tuesday - we went jogging. It started off easy, but by the end...i felt like my legs would fall off. :D But I met EVERY goal that my trainer had for me, and even exceded one. It was that one that created the desire to jog again yesterday. I now know, that I can jog for 2 minutes continuously. For some, those seasoned athletes, 2 minutes is nothing. But for me, on that day, it was a golden chalise of triumph.

I know that as the weeks go by, things will continue to get easier. One day I will be able to say..."I'm going for a morning run" and will return 30 minutes later, breathing hard, but otherwise intact. Today is not that day, and that is ok, because who knows - tomorrow may be.

Let us run with perserverance the race marked out for us, and let us (you and I) throw off EVERYTHING that entangles.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Weeks 1-3

In order to play catch up - I want to give a brief summary of my journey so far. My Journey started 4 weeks ago while having lunch with a long-time friend. She is very gifted in sports and training I decided to put down my defenses, and has for help. and she and i have been working out together, every morning, since.

The first week was tough because it was new and all of the presumptions about what my body could and couldn't do were being challenged and stretched. My mind didn't like it very much - and...well...I have a mental breakdown on my friend's living room floor. In my mind a battle raged between that which I had always known, and the unknown; the pain I had always felt and the possible of feeling no pain. On that day, the battle was lost - but it was a step toward winning the war.

Week 2 was a little better. It was all still new, but I was gaining confidence in what my body was actually capable of. I pushed the narrow limits which I had imposed on myself, and defied the odds. For the first time in my life, I went jogging, public. It was scary for me. I know that when I see a jogger, I always stare (a little). I just knew that there was someone in there car, starring at me, laughing at my attempt to jog with 'heft'. After about the first 5 minutes, I was then consumed by muscular burning, that those fears quickly changed to survival..."Courtney, one foot in front of the other. 1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4." This was the only thing my brain could muster. But...after all was run and done, aside from the huffing, puffing and nausea - I felt so strong. In my 30-minute venture outside...I had jogged a total of 1 mile.

Week 3 was better still. There was a tangible difference in how my body was responding both in workouts and outside in the "real world". I was getting stronger and my body was slowly trimming down. Mental images of what I could look like and how i might feel in September - overtook my thoughts. Mean and nasty comments spoken to me over the years vanished with each drop of sweat.

In the beginning, God created the heavens and earth with a single phrase..."Let it be." In this beginning, God said to me "Come forth and Let it be"...Here I am, Lord.

Let us run with perserverance the race marked out for us, and let us throw off EVERYTHING that hinders.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Introductions must be made

Well - here I am. The beginning of a lifelong journey. I hope that this will provide some means of release for me the writer, and some comfort and encouragement for you, the reader. Perhaps you and I are in the same boat. We've made decisions and lived our lives that have put ourselves in a place that we never intended. For me, it was bad food choices, choices to not be more active. It always seemed to be a vicious circle - I needed to exercise to lose weight, but it hurt so badly to exercise, and it hurt because I needed to lose weight - and on and on it went.

However, I think there comes a time in the lives of most, where a decision has to made for change. It's not an easy decision, or one that can be made with out being thought through. For me, it happened about a month ago. But details will come soon.

Until then...I hope the thought juices are flowing. I hope that you will be inspired to join me on my journey. Let us Run with perserverance the race marked out for us...and throw off EVERYTHING that entangles.