Monday, April 29, 2013

Check in and random thoughts

Checking in on my goals from last week and then some random thoughts

My goals were:
  • exercise consistently- I exercised HARD 4 days and then one day was a little lighter with just lots of moving around so while it wasn't hard 5 days I did get my five days in.
  • drink more water- water only 3 out of 7 days- I can check this one off.
  • to get to bed before 10:30 on work nights.  I did this also!

My goals for this coming week:
  • exercise consistently- 5 out of 7 days
  • drink more water- water only 4 out of 7 days (upping this by one)
  • make more healthy eating habits (this is going to be a variety- more fruits and veggies, less sugar and fried foods, etc) for 5 out of 7 days (I usually do okay with this but I NEED to cut down on the sugar part of it!

I found this website yesterday (someone else linked me up to it with their Boston fund shirt) and in the process found the following shirt.  Seeing as this has been my "mantra" all year and throughout this journey I think I might have to get this shirt as I come up on the year "anniversary" of my journey:

or there's this one:

Life has taken me on lots of twists and turns and I have taken the hard road at times but through it all God has been there so I am trying to figure out He wants me to use this journey.  I know that He has provided for my dream to happen but what is there beyond that- so I would love to ask you to join me in praying that things become clear and that He shows me exactly what He wants me to do.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Run, Run, Run

Saturday was the first "organized" run since the half marathon and my first 5K since Butterflies for Hope at the end of May.  I had been keeping an eye on the weather throughout the week because they were calling for an 75% chance of rain this morning at race time.  It rained through the night but thankfully there was no rain falling for the 8 a.m. start time. The race was an annual race as part of the Dogwood Arts Festival that takes place every spring here in Knoxville.  This particular route took us on a route that I am familiar with- it's one that I ran many times while prepping for the half marathon and where I have been doing some of my running since then.

Source: via Jacque on Pinterest

I ran this route on Monday afternoon in preparation and did the full course in right at 35 minutes.  My recent 5K times have been running anywhere from 35-36 in actual runs and my practice/training runs have been about 37-38.  So, having that practice at 35 was a good thing since I actually do better in actual races.

The gun goes off and we head out- all 450 runners.  I will admit that I walked about a total of a minute as I drank some water through the course.  It was a good course- inclines but not too bad, beautiful views of the river and the dogwoods (although I was thankful for the rain/dampness because it helped ease the sneezing a lot).  I hit the three mile mark and my friend was standing there- she yelled out that I could see the finish and I needed to sprint to the end.  I just glared at her but then gave it all I had and pushed through.  My phone's gps had the time at 34:18 and I knew I had started it right when the gun had gone off- but until the official results were posted I didn't know if I had met my goal of 34:00.  My previous PR had been 34:00 even back in December.  Then I had ITB issues and slowed down.  Since a little before the half my issues have eased up so have tried picking up the pace a little bit.  When the official results were posted I was so excited!  I did it!  I hit 33:54 so I cut 6 seconds off of my time- not a huge amount but I was happy with it!  A friend on FB posted the following and it says it perfectly!

ETA: Just found out that my previous PR was 33:39 which means I did not PR this one- I apparently had looked only at gun time and not chip time.  Bummer :(

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Then and Now plus goals update

This past week I was doing some work on my computer to clean off my desktop and caught a glimpse of my wallpaper.  In that instant I realized just how much change has been going on.  I did some digging and found some pictures to do a comparison with- so here you go (and the reason my eyes are so wide in the bottom left is because my mom was having issues getting a picture with my eyes open).

Lots of physical change- but also mentally and spiritually as well.  One of my favorite verses in this journey has been Psalm 73:26- to know that my heart and my flesh are going to fail me but HE is my true portion forever.  He is my strength- He is the reason why I can have joy in this journey!

Now, for a goals update- unfortunately I have not done so well on my goals this week:
Goal 1 was to get to bed by 10:30 on work nights- I did this so I can check that one.
Goal 2 was to have water only 5 out of 7 days- I struggled with this- I did drink all of my daily goal in water but still ended up with a soda more times than I wanted to.  I think I will amend this for next week to be 3 out of 7 days- I need to start small and then build on it.  If I can do three days this week then shoot for 4 the following and so on.
Exercise goal- I didn't meet my 5 days- long story but the events of this week wore me out mentally- and physically I was exhausted.  I did 3 days and if I end up getting Sunday in that will be 4 so I will amend this post if I did.  Will keep this goal for consistency the same- this week will hopefully be a little easier- only one meeting and it's not after school.

Source: via Tami on Pinterest

Source: via Tami on Pinterest

Monday, April 15, 2013


I will run for those who can't.  I will run for those whose dreams have been shattered.  I will run to honor the ONE who gave me a body that can run.  I will run for those whose life has forever been altered.  I will run for those whose tears are falling today...

Goals and odds and ends

This is just going to be a random post because there are a few things I need to touch on before this busy week starts.  I know I have blogged pretty regularly these past few days (which is just crazy) but these next few weeks it will be cut down to blogging when I can.  We are coming up on the end of the school year- as of today (Sunday) there are 27.5 school days left with children.  In that time there will be after school meetings, testing, Girls on the Run, more meetings, parent nights, prep for end of the school year program, and more meetings, not to mention a whole mess of other stuff.  All that to say- it will probably be sporadic until summer.  I do have at least 3 5K's coming up before the end of the school year and so will be working on those as well- I WANT to cut my time. 

Now- goals- I have been participating (as I can these first two weeks) in the Best Body Bootcamp online.  Here have been my first 2 weeks goals:
1) Exercise- exercise including the bootcamp workouts 5 out of 7 days.  First week I did this, this second week I hit 4 out of 7 so far- I am not sure if it's ending on Sunday this week or Monday- we started week 2 a day later than normal.  I have been having lower back issues the last couple of days so I am just doing light stretching as I can- I have learned that I can't push that one or it will get out of control.
2.) Water- to drink 80 oz/day at least 5 out of 7 days. (check)
3.) No Fried Foods for 5 out of 7 days (check)

My goals for weeks 3 and 4
1) To be in bed with the lights out by 10:30 during the school week- it's becoming easier and easier to stay up later since I am getting home later (and my Braves are on now in the evening) but for the sake of my health it MUST happen.
2) To have only water- cutting out sodas for 5 out of 7 days.  I know that I NEED to do this- and deep down I WANT to do it- I'm just plain struggling with it.  I drink my water even when I do have a soda and have done well and most days (except for Sundays) I only have one soda (in the past it would be 2 or 3).
3) My exercise goal is to be consistent with my workouts: Monday- running (and possible boot camp exercises when I get home). Tuesday- if I get to b.c. on Monday it will be cardio at a park maybe- I have a training so it depends) if not I will do boot camp.  Wednesday- Girls on the run (run about 2 miles) and maybe boot camp. Thursday- possible boot camp- I may try a spin class. Friday is a rest day. Saturday is a run day and Sunday I hope to get up before church and do boot camp. 

Source: via Tami on Pinterest

As you can see, I have lofty goals for this week and I KNOW I need accountability- so feel free to ask me in the comments, on FB or an email if I got "my sweat on" :)

Saturday, April 13, 2013


A couple of weeks ago I saw a post on my FB feed for a company- they needed ambassadors and the requirements were not strict so I figured I would apply.  I have never tried anything from this company but I have heard a LOT about them in the blogging/FB/healthy living world so my thoughts were simple- if I get it great, if not, I'll give them a try another time.

As many of you know I am a teacher and while the whole school year is busy- there are three nonstop times for teachers- the beginning of the year, Christmas time, and the end of the year.  At the end of the year I pretty much live at school between packing up my room, year end assessments, year end paperwork, and programs.  This year will be no exception and oftentimes at this time of the year my diet blows up- I am too tired to cook so I either end up stopping for something on the way (not healthy), not eating (not healthy), or eating too much (not healthy).  That's where this opportunity comes in.  The company that posted the FB update was Diet-to-Go.  Personally, I think the name is misleading because these aren't diet meals from the look of it.  They are just packaged, healthy meals.  There are three plans to choose from- traditional (this is the one I chose) and it is low-fat; low-carb; and vegetarian.  

So there you have it- that is an opportunity that has been given to me and I have nothing to lose (except a few more pounds).  I look forward to sharing my thoughts on the product when it is received :)

Friday, April 12, 2013

13 Lessons in 13.1 Miles (Part 3)

Part 1 can be found here and part 2 can be found here. Today's lessons are going to be a bit more "personal"

9. The run itself- I am not fast, I never have been, I never will be.  I have never claimed to be the swiftest and that's why a couple of weeks ago coming in 3rd in my age group was a huge deal because it will not happen again.  However, when I am running- I can't help but feel like Eric Liddell- that when I run I feel His pleasure.  I know that, in an odd way, I am on the journey He has placed me.  It doesn't always make sense and I often struggle with endurance (something I will work on) BUT it's MY journey and nobody can take that away from me. 

10.  The Volunteers- The amount of time it takes to organize and man this race is massive!  Jason Altman (who was in charge of this one) did an amazing job!  He worked tirelessly to complete the tasks to make this a great race.  I know the interview they did with him after the post-race parties he mentioned the picking up of all the materials used, the trash along the way, and even the portapotties that were located to make life easier ;) LOL Thank You!  Thank you! Thank you!

11. Dreams- 13 miles is a long time to run/walk (and I can't even imagine the 26...).  During this race- I saw dreams dreamed and dreams fulfilled.  I experienced the thrill of "victory" and the saw people who gave it their all.  I watched people finish and in doing so, were able to say that they are in the midst of their dream.  I was in the midst of one of my dreams.  My dad wrote about Heroes the other day- while I think that we all have heroes- I saw lots the other day!  Simply put- I saw people really living their life to the best of their ability and in their own speed! :)

12.  The Finish Line- Crossing that finish line was such an amazing feeling and I couldn't help but think of hearing at that final finish line- well done, my good and faithful servant.  If that's how I feel crossing a physical spiritual line after a body-wearying race- how much more amazing will it be to cross that spiritual finish line???  WOW- just the thought!

13.  The Post-race feeling- I am not even sure how to describe it.  I just know that I teared up several times throughout the race and at the end.  BUT, the tears flowed when I got home and had a chance to process EVERYTHING- from the run itself, to my personal victory, to the support of others- in person and on Facebook.  My cup overflows... and I will NEVER take that for granted.  As I said- I may not be the fastest but I am on MY journey that God has placed me on.  It will be a wild ride at times but SO worth it! ;)

And there you have it- 13 lessons in 13 miles.  I hope you enjoyed the series! I have a different post for the weekend (just some information) and then next week- who knows ;)

** all images from pinterest

Thursday, April 11, 2013

13 Lessons in 13.1 Miles (part 2)

Part 1 of this "series" is here! Because post 1 was turning into an extremely long one I decided to break it into two posts.

5. Never underestimate the power of the starting line.  The closer the time got, the more nervous I was.  Why?  I had trained for this- however, the race was different than my training- and I think, deep down, I knew that.  The race was the real deal- that starting line was a difference maker.  I was going from a "runner" to a half marathoner with one step.  Everyone has a starting line for "something" in their life.  That start line is the beginning of their journey- thankfully I never had anyone telling me that I could not do it!
6. Water- the water stops were pivotal- just when I was regretting not having a water belt there it was- just in time to quench the thirst.  Even if I didn't think I NEEDED the water I took a cup anyway because I knew that I really did.  How much is that like our spiritual life- the water is being given to us- freely- it's up to us to drink of it.  But, it's just not important in the middle of the race- it's imperative before and after the race as well.
7. Enjoy the scenery- As I mentioned the other day- the signs were great but it was early morning and the weather was PERFECT.  Part of our run took us on a greenway and it was just beautiful out there.  Just another reminder to enjoy the surroundings.  Too often I want to look at my feet to make sure my stride is okay.  I need to trust my body to run correctly and not look down.  I want eyes that look ahead and see what is front of me.

8. Hills- oh those Hills.  There were 4 of them and they weren't fun.  One of them is a notorious one on the route and I ended buying a t-shirt that says It's not just a hill, it's a rite of passage.  LOL  It was a doozy (in my opinion) but I can say that I did them all.  Not all running, some of it was walking.  It really is a metaphor for life though- we have the hills- some will be steeper than others.  However, the only way to get better on the hills is to practice them- to deal with them- to face them head on and not shrink back in fear. (and for some those hills were no big deal)

and that is the end of post number 2- post number 3 will go up soon!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

13 lessons in 13.1 miles (part 1)

Over the course of the 13.1 (which was actually more like 13.38 according to my gps on my phone) miles I had lots of time to think and have come up with 13 lessons that I learned over those 13 miles- so here goes...

1) A half marathon might not seem like a big deal to some (especially those who run fulls often) but for me it was a major deal.  Two years ago this summer I had a bulging disc and was told not to do anything but low aerobic activities that October.  That didn't sit well with me so I had to work hard to get to where I could run.  So, when I stepped up to the start line- it was the culmination of a lot of hard work and determination.

2. The little things mean a lot- the cheer from a random stranger, the high five from the policeman along the route helping to direct traffic, seeing a friend cheering for you, and seeing the reminder (on a shirt) of Philippians 4:13 several times throughout the race.

3. The Determination of others- the race started with hand cyclists and then in my corral were several older gentlemen who were carrying American flags.  And then there was the Marine running with full gear and to top it off a 91 year old gentleman who ran the half marathon.  They never quit, never gave up, and took their run seriously- the journey that they took to get there must have been amazing and I can't help but think they have found joy in that journey.

4. Music- I had a post last week about music motivation.  I was back and forth about whether I wanted my headphones- I decided to wear them (but took them out for the trip into Neyland Stadium).  The music was perfect- whenever I wanted to walk a little more- one of those songs would come on and remind me just how much of a gift I have been given.  I am running, not just for myself, but for those who can't run- gives me some things to ponder about the direction I want to take this.  It just truly made me grateful for the life I have been given.

**and since this is so long I'll be breaking this up into 3 posts :)  (all pictures are from pinterest)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

First Half Marathon...

and probably not my last- yeah, I know I have been saying for quite a while that this was to be my first and last half- however, I should know better than to say that word "never".  Yesterday, my friend Kim, told me that she couldn't wait until I finished because she thought I would be bitten by the bug- I laughed and told her no (mistake).  Then, I had two people last night tell me that I needed to run it again next year because now I know the course and had even more time to train- I laughed (not as hard) and told them no (not as emphatic but still a mistake) and then today, another friend wrote on my FB wall to find out how it went and then asked me when my next one was.  This time I laughed and said it had to be flat.  I have given up saying "no".  Now, I want to improve, I want to get where I can run even more.  I'm still processing all of the day and the feelings so this is not going to be my only post on this- in fact, I am working on a lessons learned post (cause you know I have to do so) :)  Today's post will simply be a recap and a few pictures!

The starting line- about 3100 lined up for the full and the half marathons and then a couple thousand for the 5K.  Due to my projected finish time I was in the back of the pack and that was just fine with me.  Here I am before the 7:30 start time.

My nerves were going big time- Kim told me not to confuse nerves with adrenaline.  We headed out in waves and I ended up crossing the start line about 2 minutes after the gun went off.  I got settled into a bit of a groove and just kept plugging away, step by step.  I hit the 3 mile mark and I felt good- knee was doing well and I was making sure I didn't tense my foot and made full movement (I think I tend not to do so which leads to some cramping).  We headed up to Kingston Pike which would be a pretty steady incline leading to Cherokee Blvd and Noelton Hill (which is where I have been running lately).  Right before we turned the corner were the first signs.  One was an older gentlemen standing there with a lady holding a sign (poster size) of Ryan Gosling and it said- Hey girl, I'm waiting for you at the finish line!  I was around quite a few women and heard several chuckles and then watched as others picked up the pace (to which the man replied- made you run faster didn't it? LOL)  Did I walk- yes I did but surprisingly I ran more than I thought I would.

Lots of water stops- the best was on the greenway right before mile 10 and Tyson Park.  Not only was it a great stop- I was running through there and grabbed the water and heard, "Good Job Tami!"  I looked over and it was a girl I went to college with (and I'm not friends with her on FB so she would not have known to look for me).  That gave me such a boost!  (and for the record- when I hit mile 10 I clapped because that meant only a 5K was left)

Then right around mile 11 I saw my friend Rae Ann- she was taking pictures and took this one- another boost and yes, I really was still smiling at mile 11. 

I climbed what was one of the last hills and got a text (which made me laugh) from a co-worker and friend who was waiting around mile 12.  I turned the corner and saw 2 coworkers and their children (one of which is a student of mine) so that was so cool- to again have the support in those last miles- that really kept me going!

Then the finish- when I saw that finish line I kicked it up a notch and crossed!  My official chip time- 2:46:35.  My number one goal was to finish- check.  My number two goal was to hit 3 hours- check- by almost 15 minutes.  So now, the competitive side of me wants to see if I can beat my time (see why I said I should never say never and laugh).  The feeling to have that medal placed around your neck (by a TN Vols football player) and to know that I accomplished something that I NEVER thought would be possible was AMAZING!!!  As I said- lots of lessons learned and I am working on that post in my head and should be posted this week. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

5 by the 5th

**I know that I said my next post would be half marathon info but I'm still processing it all so that will hold off another day. 

I have been participating in Laura's 5 by the 5th series in which you run a 5K or 5 miles by the 5th of the month.  This month I ran my 5 miles as part of a training run to prepare for the half marathon.  I did this on Monday, April 1, as we were off of school and it was a beautiful day!  I finished my 5 miles in about 1:01.  Which is pretty much the typical pace for me- it blows my mind to see people who can run an 8 minute mile (or lower) and maintain that time- just wow!  I am not one of them and doubt that I ever will be one of them ;)

I did not get a picture since it was the middle of the run but I did get a screenshot of my app when I hit the 5 mile marker.

My next post will have marathon info :)  Have a blessed day!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

It's almost Go-time!

At the time of this writing it's about 26 hours to go (a 7:30 a.m. start) before the gun fires and thousands of runners take off through the streets of Knoxville.  Several people have asked me how I am doing- the closer it gets- the more I "freak out".  The thought of completing 13.1 miles, the fear that my knee (or feet) might act up and cause me to go slower than I plan or even worse- not finish.  However, I am going to have Philippians 4:13 in the back of my head this whole race- I can do ALL things through HIM who gives me strength...  Next time I write- it will all be in the past and I will have a sharing report instead :) 

*race images are from the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon FB page

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Music Motivates

and recently I was intrigued by a post from a friend on FB who was asking for running motivating songs.  Then, to bring it all together a fellow SPA (sweat pink ambassador) decided to do a link up of blog posts with some of your favorite motivating songs on your playlist.  Now, the thing about my playlist is that the majority of it is Christian- out of the 58 songs on my playlist (titled half marathon) about 16 of them are "secular".  And each one of those 16 are there for a reason- there is something about them that makes them meaningful and a MUST for my playlist- they are the ones that are there to remind me of why I am doing this.  So, without further adieu my list of 10's :)

My Top 10 newly added songs (in no particular order)
1. You'll Never Be Alone by Capital Kings
2. Up Around the Bend- CCR (I watched Remember the Titans over spring break and realized I needed some of THAT music on my list)
3. King of the Comebacks- Audio Adrenaline (great message- and a good beat)
4. I Climb the Mountain-Audio Adrenaline (a slower one but just some good thoughts to have when I am running)
5. Human- Manafest
6. He Moves You Move- Audio Adrenaline (yes, I am liking their new album)
7. Where My Heart Goes- Colton Dixon (another one I am liking- reminds me of why I run)
8. Unstoppable- tobyMac (yeah, a good one to get moving to)
9. It's a Beautiful Day- Michael Buble' (yes, I know this is an odd one to have on a running list but it's a "happy" song)
10. Incorruptible- Beckah Shae (she is not a well known artist but she has some good "moving" music and this song- WOW- so much so- that I am linking the video) :)

My Top 10 "oldies but goodies" (In no particular order)
1. We Are Never Getting Back Together- Taylor Swift (yes, I know but the beat is just a fun one)
2. Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield (just a reminder that each day is a blank canvas)
3. Walk on the Water- Britt Nicole (again, love the message of this one)
4. Brand New Book- Train (this was one of the theme songs from The Biggest Loser- love the message here too)
5. Eye on It- Toby Mac- (this is a newer song but has been on my playlist for a while- it's a GREAT running song with a GREAT running message)
6. Happy by Ayiesha Woods (the title says it all)
7. I Will Follow- Chris Tomlin (just my reminder of why I am doing this journey)
8. It's My Life- Bon Jovi (it's now or never :) LOL )
9. Who Says You can't go home- Bon Jovi
10. Fight Another Day- Addison Road (this is another one that may seem odd but it's meaningful)

So- my question for you- what songs are on YOUR playlist?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The BIG Dream

That God-Sized dream- hit a bump in the road with it about a month ago.  I was bummed but was going to reevaluate and take a visit to the bank (because as is often the case- $$ was the factor).  Well, through a series of events "someone" (and I honestly have no clue who) has provided me with the funds to fulfill that dream.  So, this past Thursday I signed up to be a health coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.  This will start in May.  When I found out that someone was providing me this opportunity I was speechless (one of the few times in my life) and then immediately the doubt/fear of failure started creeping in.  However, as several people (including my dad) have lovingly reminded me- God has provided this for me to have this opportunity- He is not doing this to lead me to failure.  So, while I don't understand it I accept the gift and relish the opportunity and challenge to pursue my dream.  And, since I am not to know who it is and since I can't repay them directly my plan is to pay it forward in whatever way I can, whenever I can. 


I have been asked several times WHY I want to be a health coach- I think part of it goes to my job- the child obesity rate is outrageous and I can possibly pursue the working with children and their families (both in and out of school settings).  The other part goes to my kidney stone issues- my dietary restrictions are a little overwhelming and as someone who was barely treading water while trying to figure it all out- who better to help guide others in the same boat- than one who has been there?  So, for those who are struggling with those God-sized dreams- they may not happen right away or with the same "speed" as mine but keep plugging away and praying and you just never know...

Oh, and just for fun!  Monday was opening day for baseball- those who know me know that I am an Atlanta Braves fan (and have been for a LONG time) so- just for my dad- I HAVE to share this- he will know why- LOVE you! (and I can hear Skip Carey's voice...)