Posts Tagged With: Team Rio

Getting personal and why I do what I do….

Anyone that really knows me also knows that I am not quick with talk about my personal inner workings. I have a tendency to keep it close and work things out by myself. Great, happy things that are going on, I feel free to talk about, but let it be something hard, a struggle I am facing and I am locked up tighter than Fort Knox. I am never surprised at the shocked faces when friends slowly find out things that have happened months prior. And it usually happens with a “oh and this thing happened. Blah. Blah. Blah” followed by a quick “hold the heck on” from my friends. I am currently working to change that.

Last night, in the course of a conversation, I did the same thing to yet another person. As we were talking, I said something about being a cancer survivor. Shock crossed his face. “What?!?” My response? “I thought I told you.” And then I went on to tell him my story, answering any questions he had along the way.

I also told him that I had a cancer scare last year. During that scare, on the outside, I was very much “it’s nothing”. On the inside, I was scared as hell. My cousin died of breast cancer at a very young age. Every scare I have had along my journey was magnified when my doctors were told about this fact. The most common response was “that is way too young”. The way they treated me and my illness was always with that in mind and I am grateful. Any occurrence was usually found early and dealt with little invasion to my body or my life. While I was irritated about having to possess specialists and see them far more frequently than I cared (and I’m sure far more frequently than my insurance company cared for), it was always the reason things were discovered and dealt with so early.

Now of course I had some meltdowns along the way last year, but for the most part I kept a positive or at least a “positive” attitude. In October, one week after my 33rd birthday, I had surgery to take out the mass that was in question. The surgery was walk-in (love the advances of medicine!) and when the tests were completed, the results came back benign. After 7 months, I could finally breathe easy again.

5 months later, all I have left from that is a little scar that will fade over time but is a constant reminder of just how fragile life really is. I see the scar everyday and it has really affected my way of thinking. In January, I decided that I was going to join Team Rio and finally run the half marathon that I have been dying to run for almost 8 years now. In February, in an effort to aid my marathon training and my well-being all together, I joined D1 for a year to do boot camp 5 days a week. I’ve committed to a golf scramble in March. I am going to go skydiving this summer with a friend of mine (yes, I am jumping out of a perfectly functioning plane). I am doing the Warrior Dash with her in September, as well. I tell my friends that I love them when I get off the phone with them or when we part ways because I don’t want them to wonder how I feel about them for a second. I am meeting new people and forming new relationship because I refuse to let fear get in my way anymore. Wow! I am starting to feel like a Tim McGraw song!! 🙂

Ultimately, I’ve decided that I am going to try to live like I have a million tomorrows and at the same time, live like today is my last. I want to make every second count because really I’m not guaranteed my next. And if I live to be 100, I don’t want to look back wishing I had done something that I let slip by, regretting time not spent with people I enjoyed, not loving people fully because fear and pride got in the way. I want to look back and know I lived to the fullest of my ability.

So call me crazy because of the things I’ve gotten myself involved with. Look at my schedule and wonder what the heck I am thinking. But I will tell you one thing, I am loving my life right now. I can’t tell you the last time I have felt this content and at peace. I may be busy and on the go, but I am not living in “oh, I wish I had” moments anymore. I am working on opening myself up to whatever the world is going to bring me and taking on life’s lessons along the way. This is really why I do what I do.

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Categories: Boot Camp, Marathon, More Craziness | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Marathoning and Boot Camping

First off I want to ask “Where did January and February go??” I can’t believe that next Tuesday it will be March already. It feels like I was just celebrating Christmas. I guess it is true…time flies when you are having fun! Which brings me to my marathoning and boot camping. I know that is not what it is called but for whatever reason, it just sounds like more fun. 🙂 Now don’t get me wrong, I am loving every second of it but today…right now, I am in PAIN! As I was riding into work this morning on the very bumpy bus, I thought about how I was not going to be able to walk around today and how all of my co-workers would laugh at me. They think I’m crazy for doing boot camp, especially while training for the 1/2 marathon. Actually, all but two of my friends think I am crazy. I told “S”, one of the two that doesn’t think I’m crazy, earlier this week that he was the only one that understood me when it came to this, but then again, he was the one that told me about the boot camp. And he also goes to boot camp as much as I do. I think secretly he’s a recruiter for D1 and is refusing to tell me. Ha!! BUT, I love it. I don’t think I have ever been involved in something that I am this excited about. So let’s see if I can explain any of it in a somewhat sane way. 🙂

First off, here is my schedule for the week:

  • Monday-AM: Boot Camp-Upper Body     PM: Marathon miles
  • Tuesday-AM: Boot Camp-Cardio
  • Wednesday-AM: Boot Camp-Lower Body     PM: Marathon miles
  • Thursday-AM:Boot Camp-Cardio
  • Friday-AM: Boot Camp-Total Body (Obstacle Course!!! :))
  • Saturday: AM: Long Run (Marathon)
  • Sunday: REST

Uh huh! And somewhere in between, I work a full-time job, I am a full-time student, full-time mom and have a social life. Ah, crap….now I’m tired. 🙂 I know what you’re thinking, “This girl is crazy!” But now let me explain just why I love what I am doing.

I started training for the 1/2 marathon in January. At first it was painful and I didn’t know anyone in the running group that I had joined. Now, I am just over 2 months away from the marathon and am slowly getting to know the people in my group. This last Saturday after the long run, a group of us were sitting around talking and we discovered that we are all Longhorns fans (Hook ’em!). Well, all but one of us, and I told her I’d pray for her eventual salvation. 🙂 5 new friends! It is also so nice that as I am pushing through these long runs (up to 7 miles after last Saturday), I am running with a great and supportive group. It seems that just when it is getting rough for me, around the corner comes someone from my group to give me a smile, a wave, a “You’re doing great!”, a “You’re almost there!”, and when I get to the end, there are people there, all breathing heavy from the run with a ready word of encouragement and I do the same for all of them. I have a supportive community in my running group, which makes it all the more easy to get up on Saturday and head to our location and get it done. I love it!

Now boot camp. Phew! I think this is the one that seems to get everyone. This came about because I seemed to get to a point in my marathon training where I hit a wall. I was not just struggling to get past a certain mileage, I couldn’t do it at all. My body would begin to betray me and I would have to stop. One of the running coaches in my group is a boot camp instructor and I mentioned to my fellow boot camp crazy,”S”, that I was going to look into starting boot camp to see if I could trick my body back into adding mileage. That is when he suggested that I try out the boot camp that he does at D1. Sure thing! I want to say up front that I did not go into this blindly. I remembered all our conversations when he started back after a long break. Every text about boot camp was one of pain. I knew this was not going to be easy, but I was willing to give it a try. As evidenced in my previous boot camp posts, it hurt and it hurt BAD. After my first day, I had difficulty walking for 3 days. 3DAYS!!! But I went back. I tried out the 5am class that I would do if I decided to join and LOVED it! My fellow boot campers are die hards so I push myself harder than I think I would do on my own. My coach is hysterical and trust me, it makes it easier to get through the class when you can laugh. My classmates are pretty awesome people. We have fun every morning, despite the pain. There are conversations going the whole hour. Social ones, ones about our pain, encouraging words…it’s pretty fantastic. The best part of this boot camp is that the words spoken by the staff are all encouraging. There is never a negative response to what you are doing. I hear “you can do it”, “push harder”, “just a couple more”, etc and it helps me to go a little farther than I want to. When I was injured, they modified the exercises so that I could still participate and never made me feel bad for a second. I literally roll out of bed at 4:15am every weekday (because it hurts too much to get up like a normal person :)), and get ready for boot camp with a smile on my face knowing that I am about to start my day with these people to work hard and play hard at what is right now one of my favorite places to be.

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Day 21

I do not like hills! There I said it. I realize I live in Tennessee, which is a very hilly state, and I love it. The photography opportunities are incredible. But I am training for a 1/2 marathon, not going on a photo shoot, so today I’ve decided that at least temporarily, hills and I are not friends. This morning we had another long run, 4 miles for beginners like me. 🙂 I was at least mentally ready to take it on. I am still not feeling completely like myself but decided to take it easy and run what I could and not beat myself up for what I walked. I didn’t even turn on my running program because I knew that I would push myself a lot harder than I needed to if I could see my stats.

So we are all standing outside Martin’s BBQ in Nolensville (which by the way is not nice to make us smell that yummy bbq and have us run away from it) getting our route information when one of the running coaches mentioned that this route would be a little hilly but at least on the way back it would be downhill. I can do a little hilly, I thought. We started off and then we made our first turn and saw what a little hilly was. It was a pretty good incline. To the point that I couldn’t see what was over the rise. Alrighty then. Jogged my way up that hill, calves screaming the whole way. Yay! I made it over the hill! Next turn, another hill, steeper than the one that I just barely made it up. I began to think that maybe, just maybe, my coach might have told us a little fib. With every turn there was another incline and descent. Oh, yes. I would be running up hills to get back to where I started. Oh, Lordy! I made it the first mile and had to walk/run the rest of the three. Happily, I only walked the hills and even then I ran half the hill and huffed the rest of the way up and started running again. When I got to the back to our starting point, I looked at my phone and saw that I ran the four miles in about 45 minutes so that wasn’t so bad. For feeling bad, I figure averaging under 15 minutes per mile is good. I’ll take it!! 🙂 I’m hoping that I am feeling normal by our next run and it won’t be so hard. I do know that I am going to research a runner’s diet. Mine is terrible and I’m sure is not helping me in the least. 🙂 Changes….love them.

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My 1st Marathon

Well, last year I sat on the marathon trail and cheered on the runners as they hit the beginning of their final mile and I saw thousands of tired but elated faces. I decided then that it was no longer time to just think about running the next marathon but to actually do it. It has been something I’ve wanted to do since I’ve moved here and other than a lack of motivation, I have no excuses.

That brings me to today. This morning I woke up to the most beautiful snowfall and very cold temperatures and my first meeting with Team Rio, the group I am running with. I wondered for a second if they would cancel since snowfall has a tendency to shut down the whole city, so I kept checking their facebook page. No updates stating that the meeting was canceled, so I got ready to head towards the meeting. This meeting wasn’t just an informational meeting, either. Our first group run would be after the meeting concluded. Did I mention that it was snowing and cold??? 25 degrees of cold! So I dressed for my first run not really knowing if this was an outdoor or indoor run and drove downtown.

We moved through the meeting packed full of information about the organization that we were going to be raising money for (Big Brothers and Big Sisters) and how we would be going about our next 6 weeks of training but no mention of whether or not we would be running inside or outside. I was starting to get a little scared.

The meeting was coming to an end and they handed out the registration paperwork to those of us that did not pre-register. At the top of the page was the little field to choose what team you wanted to be on, 1/2 marathon walking, 1/2 marathon running, and full marathon. I walked in with the idea that I would join the walking team. There was just no reason to get carried away with this thing. And it’s my first marathon. How in the world would I get to the point of being able to run 13.1 miles? And then the incredible, or maybe the really dumb thing happened. I checked the 1/2 marathon running box.

I have spent the last 7 years saying that the only reason a person should be running is because someone is chasing them to hurt them. Running, for exercise or marathon purposes, just didn’t make since to me. And then this morning I decided if I was going to go 13.1 miles, I was going to run it. Why would I go through all the time and training to walk the 1/2 marathon? I wanted to go all out with my 1/2 marathon. What if this is the only time I run this? I didn’t want to walk away regretting my decision, so I checked running. Well, that moved me into the running team in our group run. We all headed towards the door to break up in teams and get instruction and that is when I realized it. We were going outside. NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

I did not wear enough layers. It was not only snowy and cold, it was also very windy. We all stood outside and received some last minute instruction and I got very cold, very fast. I have no idea what the wind chill was, but my face began to hurt as the wind and snow blew into it. “I am never going to make it” was all I could think. Not running, not walking. It was waaaaaay too cold. And then we started. I ran and ran, waiting for the moment when my body temperature would rise enough to combat the cold. That didn’t happen until the last quarter mile of my 2 mile run. 😦 I also found out while talking to a girl I was running with that we run all our group runs, rain or shine. We are the postal service of running teams.

This will be a very interesting 6 weeks, but I am beyond excited! I can’t possibly imagine how I am going to be able to run 13.1 miles with just 6 short weeks of training, which is why I started this blog. From what everyone was saying, I will run the 13.1 and not remember the struggle of today. I’m going to document this so I can watch my progress. And if nothing else, maybe there will be humorous things that happen along the way, like how I almost threw up after only running 2 miles. 2 MILES!!!! Oh, me! Here I go…

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