Sunday, June 1, 2014

{A New Resolve}

It's no secret that this is the year I've declared war on my fat. I'm tired of being trapped in an overweight body and not feeling like doing the things I enjoy. A few months ago, I stepped up my running game by hiring a coach to help me reach the goal of being able to RUN a 5K and to finish a half marathon in under 3 hours.

I've had a few injury setbacks, but overall, the coaching is going well, and I can tell that I'm getting stronger as a runner. I'm definitely running SMARTER!

Yesterday, I stepped up my fitness game even more, and hired a local personal trainer to work with my on building my strength. I'm always so lost when I go to the gym and felt like I really needed to work with someone to ensure that I'm doing the right things for my body and using correct form to prevent injuries. (I'm also hoping this will kickstart some weight loss!) I did things yesterday that I've never dreamed my body would jumps, rope climbs, wall balls, dead lifts...WOW! I'm sore today, but it's a good kind of sore...the kind that tells your body you're working hard.

I can't wait to see how my body transforms this month!!
Stay Tuned!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

{Inspire Me Wednesday ~ May 28}

“One thing about racing is that it hurts.  
You better accept that from the beginning or you’re not going anywhere.” – Bob Kennedy

Monday, May 26, 2014

Weekly Chase (& a Detour) ~ May 26, 2014

Happy Memorial Day! I've enjoyed the day with my family. I always struggle a bit celebrating today, as a soldier's wife, I know how much sacrifice is made by the soldier (and his family) to protect the freedoms so many of us take for granted. Today is a day to honor those that have given the ultimate sacrifice and part of me feels guilty enjoying BBQ, swimming, and family, knowing that there are so many families that have given the ultimate sacrifice for us. However, lest we never forget! We celebrate and honor our heroes! A huge shoutout to my hubby, who has completed two overseas deployments, and continues to serve through the National Guard. Love that man!

Now...on to the Weekly Chase :)

So....whoever says that running isn't a real sport, needs to try it on for size. Like all athletes, we train hard and sometimes have injuries and setbacks. (cue sad music)

Which brings me to my "detour." I've been having issues with my left hamstring for several weeks...maybe months. I've been trying to be tough  stubborn and have been just running through the pain and discomfort, but finally last week, I cracked. It's just so annoying to be having this pain that won't allow me to progress. So...I fessed up to my coach and she advised rest. (I knew she would) It definitely changes my goals for the week.

This Week's Goals:

  1. Daily Foam Rolling ~ this has become such a part of my routine and makes a huge difference in the way my body feels.
  2. Daily Stretching ~ specifically, my hamstring and hips.
  3. Strength Train Arms 3x ~ since I can't run/walk/bike/elliptical/etc...I'm going to work on my arms and...
  4. Daily Core Workout ~ I'm realizing how important this is to running
  5. Cook At Home ~ I'm not going for perfection here, but a majority percentage

It's a different kind of training week and I have to admit, not running sucks way more than I ever imagined it would, but I'm not going to let it completely derail me. I'm going to work on what I can and allow my hamstring an opportunity to heal so that I can kick it in SOON!

What are your goals for the week?
How do you deal with injuries and setbacks?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

{Inspire Me Wednesday ~ May 14}

"Running well is a matter of having the patience to persevere when we are tired and not expecting instant results." ~ Robert de Castella, world champion marathon runner

Monday, May 12, 2014

Weekly Chase ~ May 12, 2014

Today is Graduation Day at our house as our youngest finishes up his High School Career. It's actually Graduation WEEK....this morning as our son was at practice for his high school graduation tonight, I was with our daughter picking up her COLLEGE Graduation cap and gown and helping her decide on a dress to wear. (excuse me while I go cry in my pillow) I will survive though, right?!

All these emotions did motivate me to get out for an early run this morning in an effort to get myself in check and not just fall to the ground in a heap of tears.


Last Weeks Goals;
  • Goal 1 - Get 3 quality runs in before the race on Saturday - negative, no excuses
  • Goal 2 - Daily Foam Rolling - Check! This is my hamstring saver.
  • Goal 3 - Healthy Breakfast EVERY day - I was about 75% on this, but not quite there
  • Goal 4 - Create a plan for strength training - negative
  • Goal 5 - Get my room deep cleaned & ready for hubby - Check! This was my main objective this past week, so I think my running took a back seat.
This week is going to be a challenge. We have a busy week (2 graduations, a pinning ceremony, and watching the grand baby while momma celebrates) and hubby is home, so I will definitely have to be intentional about getting my runs in this week.

This Weeks Goals;
  • Goal 1 - Get 4 runs in this week
  • Goal 2 - Continue Foam Rolling Daily
  • Goal 3 - Healthy Breakfast EVERY Day
  • Goal 4 - Create a plan for strength training
  • Goal 5 - Turn it off (2 hours each night that are social media free)
These are pretty much the same goals that I had last week, but these are the ones I really need to work on and get nailed down.

Let's Rock Out This Week!!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Race Recap ~ Women Run Arkansas 5K

Although I wasn't able to attend very many of the actual clinic workshops for the Women Run Arkansas, I still managed to make it to the "graduation" race in Conway, Arkansas. It actually worked out well and Quentin was able to meet me there on Friday night and we were able to spend some time together....a rare opportunity!

Friday night kicked off the race with packet pick up and a pasta party with guest speaker, Erin Henderson (who happens to be my coach!). The food was wonderful and the Erin was inspiring. One of the things she said that really stood out to me was that it's supposed to be hard...and that we should embrace the hard. Also, just hearing her story of how far she's come in her running and fitness and that it really is ok to carve out time just for you.

 After dinner, I laid out my race gear for the next day. Still loving my Brooks Ravenna's and I just recently found these tank tops at Wal-Mart that I'm absolutely loving! They're dry-fit and have a loose fit with a drawstring at the bottom. When you're on the heavier side, a loose fit tank is a rare find. I've bought 4 of them...trying to snag one of every color they have! LOL

 A couple of my fave things in my race goody bag...Nerd gum balls! Seriously?! LOVE! AND....nail polish! Score! I also really love the tech tee..even if mine might be a little snug (incentive!)

Quentin and I stayed in Morrilton, which was about 20 miles away, so I had to get up a little earlier. I drank a little water to stay hydrated, but I still can't eat before a race. My stomach just will not tolerate it. We headed out about 7:00am so I could get to the race site and get warmed up.

The energy was amazing! I quickly found the group from Jonesboro and met some new people.
 Group photo of the Jonesboro Clinic

 It's always nice to have a friendly face in the crowd :) Marleena has been a huge source of encouragement and inspiration for me and often reminds me to hang in there and not to start too fast (one day I'll actually remember to do that!)

 I met a new friend, Ashlyn, who actually was a leader for the Jonesboro Walkers Group, but decided to run/walk this race. We stayed together and I pushed her to run a little further. She shaved about 5 minutes off of her mock run time and ran for 8 minutes without a walk break...her longest ever! It may have been my longest run also.

The Starting Line: There were a little over 1,000 women racing today and they had pace markers. I knew that I could do a 14' mile, so I lined up with Ashlyn, Marleena, & Teresa in this group. I was hoping that I could do a little better than that, but knew that would be a comfortable pace for me. The energy at the starting line with so many women was absolutely amazing.

Mile 1: This was a really good mile for me. It started with a nice down hill stretch and I was able to use that to my advantage and run for 8 minutes before taking my first walk break.  This mile took a little less than 14 minutes, so I knew I was on task.

Mile 2: The atmosphere was incredible with people cheering all along the course. There were leaders at every turn, shouting words of encouragement and handing out water and warning of any hazardous road conditions (like potholes or uneven pavement). I went to a 3/2 run/walk ratio and was staying with the pace group. I actually finished this mile at 26 minutes and thought I might have a chance at finishing in under 40 minutes.

Mile 3: I tried to push through this mile, but ran out of steam in the last half mile. I swear, if I could run a 2 miler, I might rock it! We turned a corner and someone said "you can see the finish line!" All I could see was people and kept wondering where the heck that line was!? I finally seen it and Ashlyn and I ran all the way across, side-by-side. 

Official Finish Time: 44:39
Avg Pace 14:24/mile
812 out of 1040

 Check out these Finishers Medals! These were pretty sweet!!

After crossing the finish line, I found the food tent and got an orange and some water before settling in for the awards. In addition to the age group awards, they also gave some pretty incredible door prizes away...I'm guessing probably about 10 pairs of shoes were given away. I didn't win, but I did score some one-on-one conversation time with Erin!

Me & my coach, Erin. 

I absolutely love her! So down to earth and a perfect fit for me. We were able to just connect and I was able to get some new packing a backpack with the snacks you prefer to fuel you after the run. (why haven't I thought of that before) She reminded me to start slow and finish strong...really, I will get this some day. She's going to give me a plan for my next 5K to hopefully get my time down to 40 minutes. I loved hearing about her family and her crazy story about just getting to Arkansas from Wyoming to attend this event.

This was by far, my absolute favorite race I've run. Something about racing with all women...the camaraderie, excitement, and honest was all so very inspiring! I will definitely be doing this again :)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

{Inspire Me Wednesday ~ May 7}

Each Wednesday, I will be posting something that inspires me...maybe a picture or a quote or a person. Just something simple with nothing else needed;

"The feeling you get from a good run is far better than the feeling you get from sitting around wishing you were running." ~Sarah Condor

Monday, May 5, 2014

Weekly Chase ~ May 5, 2014

Ok, can I just start over?! I had a really great run on Tuesday and was all set to have a productive week, when I injured my toe. Seriously? How bad can it hurt? Apparently, quite a bit. So....lets evaluate what went right last week....

Last Weeks Goals;
  • Goal 1 - Run 4 times this week ~ yea, well....this didn't happen!
  • Goal 2 - Foam Roll daily (gotta keep this up!) ~ Check! My fave thing
  • Goal 3 - Eat a healthy breakfast EVERY morning (today doesn't count right?) ~ getting better, but still not there.
  • Goal 4 - Strength training twice this week ~ I did some minimal free weights at home...can I count that?
  • Goal 5 - Get house in order! This probably seems like a no-brainer, but I seriously just need a day to deep clean my house. I'm a little OCD about that :) ~ ALL rooms are done except mine & the office. HUGE IMPROVEMENT!! Counting this as a success :)

Ok, so overall, I think I didn't do too shabby. I'm actually pretty excited about this week. My toe is feeling better. I have an exciting race this weekend. I'm going to meet my coach in person! My hubby comes home for a 10 day stretch. It's going to be a phenomenal week!

This Weeks Goals;
  • Goal 1 - Get 3 quality runs in before the race on Saturday
  • Goal 2 - Daily Foam Rolling
  • Goal 3 - Healthy Breakfast EVERY day
  • Goal 4 - Create a plan for strength training
  • Goal 5 - Get my room deep cleaned & ready for hubby
I really am excited for this week. I went to the grocery store tonight and stocked up on fresh fruits and veggies. Healthy snack choices hopefully will help keep my energy levels up so I can accomplish my goals this week. I'm super excited to meet my coach at the Conway race this weekend...we've been working together online and now I'll get to put a face with all my training....and the icing on the cake is that my hubby comes home for a 10 day stretch! He hasn't been home in 6 weeks and I can't wait to spend some much needed time together.

Happy Running!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Weekly Chase ~ April 28, 2014

Wow! Where did the past week go? Seems like just yesterday I was making goals for the week and now here I am...time to evaluate and create new ones.

Last weeks goals;

  • Goal 1 - Run 4 times this week (make one of these a trail run & keep to the 3/2 intervals) - I missed a day and only got 3 runs in this week.
  • Goal 2 - Foam Roll daily (this helps so much...don't know why I struggle with this) - CHECK! I'm loving this AND I had a professional massage after my race on Saturday, which might be the best idea I've ever had.
  • Goal 3 - Eat a healthy breakfast every morning - I'm getting better, but not quite there.
  • Goal 4 - Update blog at least 4 times - Almost
  • Goal 5 - Shop for Graduation (I need to purchase Blake's clothes for graduation) - CHECK! And they're even ironed :)
So, I didn't hit all my goals...and that's ok. I'm new at this and I'm smart enough to offer myself a little grace here and there. I WILL do better this week! I'm a believer in try, try, and try most of my goals are staying the same.

This weeks goals;

  • Goal 1 - Run 4 times this week
  • Goal 2 - Foam Roll daily (gotta keep this up!)
  • Goal 3 - Eat a healthy breakfast EVERY morning (today doesn't count right?)
  • Goal 4 - Strength training twice this week
  • Goal 5 - Get house in order! This probably seems like a no-brainer, but I seriously just need a day to deep clean my house. I'm a little OCD about that :)
And ...there you have it. Excited to begin a new week and conquer these goals!

Linking up with Mindy again. Check her out here...she's pretty awesome!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Race Recap ~ NEA CAC 5K

You know...some races are better than others. This was not one of those!

The race was at Craighead Forest Park in Jonesboro, which is about 30 minutes away. I wanted to get up in time to get a light breakfast and water in me a couple of hours before start time, but I woke up late and was doing good to just get out the door in time to get to the venue. I went to the locale that was emailed the night before to be the registration had moved. Finally found the registration area, got checked in (there were no safety pins, but luckily I had some in my car), and waited for the start time.

This was a really small race...only 29 participants...and one of my favorite venues, so I was hoping for a really good race.

Mile 1: The first half mile was down hill, which I loved!! My coach, Erin, had given me some pointers and warned me about going out too fast and sticking to my plan. I tried! I really did, but when I seen that the beginning was downhill, I knew I could go a little further before taking a walk break. I actually ran 6'20" before taking a 1 minute walk break. I was able to maintain a 3' run/1' walk the entire first mile and felt really strong, even though this mile ended in the trails.

Mile 2: Still on the trails!! I was not expecting this to be a trail run. I continued to stick to my intervals, but I had to slow my run portion way down to compensate for the terrain and the hills, which weren't as bad as some races. (I actually don't mind the hills for the most part). I was proud of myself for running UP the hills and sticking to the intervals and tried desperately to distract myself with the beautiful scenery of the park.

Mile 3: My legs are just done. The constant uneven terrain is taking its toll and I have to admit...a few dirty words slipped out as I battled to keep to the intervals. I really wanted to finish this mile strong and thought I might have a chance to finish in 40:00, but I just wasn't able to maintain. There was no water on the course and I was parched (I don't carry water on these short races because there is usually at least one water station). Thankfully, one of my running friends from CRAC (Crowleys Ridge Athletic Club), came out to run me in the last 1/4 mile and just kept encouraging me to not stop and keep running. I finished in 43:17, and 8 second improvement over the previous week. I'll take it. Especially on a trail run!

The finish line was actually a mile away from where I parked at the start line, so I had a nice cool down walk to my car....the awards was in a different area on the other side of the lake, so we had to change locations...again.

This race wasn't as organized as many of the others I've been in and I definitely didn't have the best attitude going into it, but sometimes life is that way. You don't always have control over what you're given, but you do have control over what you do with it.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Race Recap ~ Crosstown Showdown 5K

This past weekend I participated in the annual Crosstown Showdown 5K to benefit the Relay-for-Life. Such a great idea to combine the rivalry of the two area schools (Paragould & Greene County Tech) and the community love of running to raise money for cancer research. I'm not sure I know a single person who hasn't been touched by cancer in some form or fashion. There were 170 registered participants, which for these area races, is really good. My 18 year old son, Blake, was among the participants and I love when he races with me :)

We got there about 30 minutes early and checked in, got our bibs, shoe tags, and t-shirts. I love local races because I know so many of the faces in the crowd and we have an amazing cheering section. I found my friend, Judy, and talked to her. She had a friend with her that it was her first race, so it was refreshing to see that new excitement. Before we knew it, it was time to line up.

I positioned myself toward the middle of the pack, since I knew there was quite a few walkers in this race. I generally try to stay toward the back since I know I'm a very slow runner.

Mile 1: This portion of the race was mainly flat with one small hill around the half mile mark. My legs felt good and I felt like I was staying on track. I looked down at my watch at the end of the mile only to realize that I'd gone out too fast. My average pace was 11'30". I knew I couldn't maintain that pace throughout and tried to dial it down a notch.

Mile 2: Started with a straight stretch and then had a couple of hills. I was proud of myself for running UP the hills this time. My pace was still a little fast, but I had dialed it back quite a bit.

Mile 3: This was a struggle. I wasn't familiar with the course and I just wanted to be done. My legs were getting tired and my lungs were done...then I seen the finish line.

I finished almost 3 minutes faster than my last race, but not quite my best overall. I was pleased.

Official Finish Time: 43:25 with an average pace of 13'54

Blake finished at exactly 25:00 and claimed 2nd place in his age division. I'm so proud that he enjoys running and its something we can do together (well, sort of...if I could keep up!)

Next race is at Craighead Forest next Saturday!!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Weekly Chase ~ April 21, 2014

Well....I'm a month into my 40th year of this amazing journey through life. I thought it was a great time to start a new blog...embracing what most run from....the proverbial "hill." Focusing on my love of running and how it parallels life, will be the main theme of this blog. Of course, I'll be sprinkling in a little bit of daily life here and there too!

One of the things I'm going to try to do is "The Weekly Chase." On Mondays, I'll post the goals for the week and update on the previous weeks goals. The idea is to keep myself accountable with an online record and inspire others to join in.'s Weekly Chase #1;

  • Goal 1 - Run 4 times this week (make one of these a trail run & keep to the 3/2 intervals)
  • Goal 2 - Foam Roll daily (this helps so much...don't know why I struggle with this)
  • Goal 3 - Eat a healthy breakfast every morning
  • Goal 4 - Update blog at least 4 times
  • Goal 5 - Shop for Graduation (I need to purchase Blake's clothes for graduation)
So that's the plan for the week....