Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Transformation Tuesday: More Than a Number

In the "Instagram" world today is "Transformation Tuesday." So, in light of recently hitting the 100lbs lost mark I thought I would jump on this bandwagon and share. The thing is, though, that what I have to share is so much more than a silly number. I mean really you probably couldn't see a big difference between 95 and 100 pounds. And if I were to hop on a scale right now I can't guarantee it would hit the 100 lbs lost mark exactly because I'm always dancing around in a 5lb range. In fact, the day I officially hit that mark I didn't even realize it until later on in the day when I did the math and it hit me I had officially lost 100. That number just is not important to me. But the journey to reach that number has been everything.

You don't have to be a fitness nut to lose weight and be healthy, I just fell in love with being active. I love seeing just how far I can push it... and then testing that limit again and again to see growth. Along the way I found my inner athlete and my competitive nature was unleashed. But, this journey goes beyond "fitness."

You want to know what the absolute coolest part of this whole sha-bang has been? Connecting with other people! Inspiring other people to work to be their best selves. Seeing the ripple affect of my life change boggles my mind. Every time I have someone tell me how I have inspired them it just blesses me to pieces! When I started my journey it was for very selfish reasons in wanting to achieve and reach goals for myself. I wanted to get healthy for me. However, the process of getting healthy has created an amazing platform to touch and reach others.

All I, really, want in life is to help others chase after their dreams and be the very best version of themselves. Too many people settle for second best because for whatever reason they think that's all they deserve. WRONG! You are a child of God and He has a will and a plan for your life that far exceeds anything you could ever imagine for yourself. So, don't settle! Fight! Don't give up. Be relentless. It doesn't mean it will be an easy path, but it will be SOOOO worth it. You are worth it!

That message goes beyond fitness. If you're in a bad relationship... you deserve better. Maybe you're in an "okay" relationship... guess what... you deserve better! Do you hate your job? Whatever it is, don't settle for second best. Set goals and work hard to accomplish them. Nothing is going to be handed to you but anything worth having is worth working hard for.

The exciting thing is that for every goal I hit I have many more ahead of me. My life is going to be an adventure. If someone were to write about it... you'd want to read the book!

I don't want to be the girl that just lost a bunch of weight... and now she's pretty... and now she's acceptable to the world. NO, I want people to say, "Woa! That's a woman of God." And if the description ends at that, I am over joyed. Who cares what other silly worldly things I accomplish if I don't Love God and Love people!

When I look at old photos you know what I see?... a lot of smiling. I was never a sad fat girl. (I really want people who didn't know me from before to know that!) I was just stuck. I think anyone that knew me before can attest to me being a joyful person. I've always been beautiful because my beauty was defined by something deep inside me, but being overweight caused me to hold back and miss out on certain things out of fear and insecurities. I held back because of my weight, but now I am all in. Ready for the adventure called life.

Sidenote: All my "before" photos are from me at my biggest which happened around the Spring Semester of my Junior year of college (spring '09) to about when I started to get healthy which was January 2011. I was overweight for most of my life but really got large during that time period. I can remember weighing 180 in 6th grade and I think I was at 200 by high school and graduated high school at about 215-220 and then that gradually went up and then really jumped spring '09.

Friday, April 5, 2013


I WILL run a half marathon.
There is a great multitude of things we all CAN do, but what really matters and where greatness is found within us, is what we WILL do. I could run a half marathon a while ago, but this weekend... I WILL.

I am hopping on a plane in just a couple hours with some friends and we are headed out to San Francisco for the SanFran Rock 'N Roll half marathon. After months of amping up my running and focusing my training the real hard work is done and now it's time to go have some fun!

To train for my first Half Marathon I roughly followed the Higdon Novice2 Half Marathon Training plan. I still kept a lot of my normal workouts in throughout the week and just added in more running. Did the three shorter to midrange runs during the week where I could push my pace a bit and then did my long runs on Saturday where I grew my endurance.

Here are some snap shots of my Saturday Runs.

With the low temperatures I had the pleasure to train in A LOT of my runs were done in this here sweatshirt.

I remember this run because it was during my 7 day challenge to go NO SUGAR to break some bad habits I was starting to pick up. That means carbs too. I did allow myself a Granny Smith Apple and an occasional sweet potato. That run I was definitely running on empty. It almost hurt.

Another one of my favorite outdoor running tops for the winter weather. Around Christmas time I picked up this great Nike turtleneck, the Nike orange sweatshirt above, a Nike Green long sleeved top below and the UA long pants to run in outside since I knew I'd have to rough it in some cold weather. So glad I did!!! I ran in some crazy weather through all this!
I remember I was really happy at the end of this run because I hit exactly 7 miles right at an hour which was my goal. Hoping to be able to keep an 8'30" per mile pace or lower for the race. We'll see how that goes with the terrain and adrenaline and nerves all combined.

Nike Running top... yes I have an obsession with Nike.

Fun Under Armor Pants!

This 5K was a blast and a good break to the long runs. It worked out perfectly because the same weekend I was scheduled to do a 5K race I also had to be in Houston for a friend's wedding. I stayed with Lauren who is doing the Half Marathon with me and following the same running plan so she found us a 5K to run in together. That weekend also happened to be the beginning weekend of the month long Rodeo in Houston so we signed up for Rodeo Run which kicked off the whole thing. Costumes were encouraged and when we found these purple lycra pants the day before we knew it was destiny! They were pretty fabulous, but I have to say I was super nervous to run in them (SO TIGHT!). It all worked out great though. There was a huge crowd there cheering on the runners which was a big energy boost and they all loved our pants... of course, so it was fun to hear all the "Go Purple Pants" shout outs. We ended up completing the run with a pretty good pace, had a blast doing it, and rocked our crazy pants!

This may have been one of my favorite (or at least one of my favorite) long runs. I just remember it feeling so good and when I finished I felt like I could have just kept on going and going. That's always a great feeling. 

My first run in the new shoes that will take me across the finish line. These poor guys got broken in quick. 

Without a doubt my least favorite run on them all! I felt every mile and I didn't enjoy a single one of them. It was rainy and gross, but hey I had been running in single digit temperatures and snow, so what was a little rain? I decided to switch up my location to mix things up and make sure I wasn't getting too comfortable with my route, so I went to the KC Downtown Airport. I hated it. Don't know if it was the weather, the location... don't know. I just didn't like it... but I did it and I did not stop. So, with that I think it was good for me to know that I could push through a rough run like that.

This week I was supposed to do a 10K race but I could not find one!! So, I signed up for the Big12 5K that was going on that weekend downtown by the Sprint Center. Thought it would be fun to rep my TCU Horned Frogs and I planned on doing the route twice to get my 10K in. It didn't work out for me to go through twice and the race was okay, but I did get to see an old friend from high school. I'm pretty sure everyone that saw me in purple just thought I was a KState fan... boo. Go Frogs! 

Now this one was a fun route because I ran from my house in Smithville to my best friend's house in Kansas City. The night before the run I was talking to my dad about wanting to do a different route and throwing around some ideas with him. He then said, "Why don't you run to Kinsey's?" It normally take me about 15min or so to drive to her house so I thought she was farther away, but when I googled it... 10.8 miles. Perfect. In fact from my door step to hers on the route I took it's more like 10.5 so I had to run past her house and then back, but it worked out. It was really cool to put a visual to the distance I was covering. Had some good hills to go over coming out of Smithville and had a couple good encouraging drivers that passed by that gave me a good energy boost. At mile 8 was feeling great.. and then some precipitation started coming down... of course.. but it wasn't too bad at that point. Then when I was about a mile and a half away I was running in a blizzard! Not just running in it but actually running against it. I had to put my head down as the snow was collecting on my face and in my eyes. The last mile was literally up the steepest hill, in snow, against the wind... With all that though it was a good run and aside from the final moments I had fun doing it.

The last big run and I had to test out a few new items. New fun pants for the run and a water bottle with a pouch for my phone. Wanted to make sure they both could go the distance and not drive me crazy! Love the pants they were great. These are my first pick for the run but I have two backups... just in case. Then for the water bottle I was nervous about a couple things: that my arm/back would hurt from the weight, complications with having my phone in the pouch since I play my music from my phone and use my Nike+ app on it, that I wouldn't really even need the water. I filled the water bottle just over half way if that so the weight didn't end up being an issue. I put my phone in the pouch and take it out one handed which is good in case I need to do that during the run. Otherwise it fit in the pouch great with my headphones coming out the top and I can press the home button from outside to hear my app tell me how I'm doing. So, those items checked out. Again, I really enjoyed the run and totally had San Francisco on my mind the whole time!!!

And away we go.

SanFran Rock 'n Roll... I'm ready for you!

Run in some crazy weather looking crazy right along with it.
End it there because I literally have to leave for the airport... like now! AHHHH! Here we go!

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