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...