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 you...today 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 further...to 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 imagination...it 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 up...to 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 through...is 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.