Tuesday, August 24, 2010


There are a few items that are constants when it comes to my training gear. The Hubs constantly jokes about my make believe "sponsorship" with Nike because I only like to wear Nike tops and bottoms while I work out. My go to sports bras are Champion C9 (with an occasional Nike bra - but those suckers are a pain to put on/off). Socks are New Balance. Now some days I'll wear a random generic shirt/short/sports bra/sock. However, one thing that I will not forget to wear during a workout is a BondiBand! Even on the rare occasion, like today, that I wear a cap, you will still find a BondiBand underneath it.

I came across BondiBand two years ago. At first, I thought that they were just another headband - only cuter. My first time wearing one, I was hooked. The headband did not slip on my head, nor did it indent my hair, like other headbands do. It also didn't cause a "headband headache" like the plastic headbands do. And they were cute! Did I mention that already? And what happened after I chopped my hair off so short that a ponytail wasn't an option? BondiBands were still there to keep my hair and sweat out of my eyes.

The headbands are made from stretchy, breathable material that provides comfort to the wearer. They come in Lycra and heavy wicking material called dry-tech coolmax. They are available in solids, prints, with or without sayings. Over the two years that I've been purchasing BondiBands, I've seen their product line grow. Not only do they offer headbands, but their product line has expanded to swim caps, wicking hats - with or without ponytail holes, and neck gators. These are not exclusively for women. BondiBands are available for men, women and children. Above the cuteness, the functionality and the affordability, the customer service is absolutely more than anyone can ask for. Rebecca, owner, truly cares about customer satisfaction. She strives to make sure that all of her customers are happy with their purchases.

So, now it is time for me to share my passion with my readers. BondiBand has offered to give one headband away to one of my readers. How can you win?

To enter, visit BondiBand at www.bondiband.com and browse their wide selection of headbands. Once you do that, leave a comment below with your favorite BondiBand design. This is mandatory before you can complete any optional entries.

Optional entries
Follow BondiBand on Facebook (1 entry)

Subscribe to my blog (2 entries. If you are already subscribed, leave a comment saying so).

This giveaway ends on Sunday, September 5th at 11:59PM CST and is open to U.S. residents, only. I will use random.org to choose the winner. Winners will have 48 hours to respond the email notification. If I do not receive a response within those 48 hours, I will pick a new winner.

Now, about my training...
My first run back after my pity party hangover was met with caution. Do you know how when you wake up the day after with that nasty hangover and the remnants of the night before takes form as fuzz on your tongue? Neither have I but I've heard stories. ;-) I had the fuzzy taste on my tongue (of failure) and pounding head pain (of self-doubt). So, how did my first run start? I'll tell you, it wasn't well. A 1/4 mile into the run I was faced with a dead rat on the side of the road. Puke crept its way to the top of my throat. Disgusting! Luckily, I was faced with a cute little bunny 1/10 of a mile later. That bunny put a smile on my face and it was there for the remainder (almost) of the run. I didn't experience a PR, but the run felt great. I was consistent. I didn't walk any of it. I wasn't miserable. I.AM.BACK!!!!!

I'm not sure if it was the cooler weather, the new Garmin sports watch that Hubs gave me for my birthday or the pity party that did it, but this was a great week. I shaved off 13 minutes from my time between Tuesday and Thursday. I ran over eight miles without walking on Saturday. I really, for the first time, feel like I can get through the half-marathon in September.

ACCOMPLISHMENT: Ran the longest that I've ever ran at once!!!!

Saturday, August 21, 2010


I am sad to say that this week was not as successfully as I would have liked for it to be. My training was sidetracked due to the pity party that consumed my week. It was all because of back-to-back sub par runs. That was all that I needed to deter my training this week.

I had an awesome workout at boot camp on Monday. It was there that a friend asked to run with me the following morning. I was very ecstatic to have a new buddy to run with me. I came home and told the Hubs all about it. At approximately 5:45 the following morning, I was served a huge dish of humble pie. The request to run with me was veiled with uncertainty as she stated, "I want to see if I can do it". I didn't believe that I would be running with Joan Benoit. This woman who claimed she hadn't run in a while was totally smoking me. I felt so bad for her. I was holding her back. It was embarrassing. I was scheduled for 4.5 miles that day. I only logged three. By the end of those three miles, I lost count of the number of times I apologized for my poor excuse for a run.

I logged 1.59 additional miles during the remainder ofr the week. It was a very poor 1.59 miles. I walked/ran during that distance but was very distracted. I was still thinking about what a failure I had turned into.

On Friday, I attended the Women of Faith pre-conference. I prayed to be blessed on my way there, but my alter ego, Negative Nancy, was skeptical. God had a reason for me being there and the reason why was answered fairly quickly. That first day I witnessed a drama performed by Nicole Johnson called "The Label Maker". My friend nudged me as the character described how much better her life would be once she could organize her entire house with labels from her new label maker. "Doesn't my daughter know that you don't put the blond dolls with the brunettes? It's clearly labeled." It was humorous until the labels were being placed on family members and friends. Her husband had removed a label from their daughter's forehead. It read "chubby". There were a list of labels: "Godly", "Un-Godly", "Lazy", "Selfish", etc. What labels am I placing on everyone else. What labels am I placing on me?

Later in the day, Marcus Buckingham spoke. Marcus was a senior researcher at Gallup Organization for almost two decades. He was part of a survey that asked what individuals focus on more; their strengths or their weaknesses. Gallup conducted the survey for, I believe, four years. Each year of the study, the results were the same. People focused more on their weaknesses.

Weaknesses and labels. It was all coming together. I have been using my weaknesses to label myself. "Weak." "Incapable." "Loser." "Failure." Not only did I see the labels that I was placing upon myself. I realized the I have been also placing labels on my family and my friends. The Lord began working on my heart. That afternoon I prayed that the Lord forgive me for labeling my loved ones. I prayed that my loved ones forgive me for labeling them. I prayed that I be able to let go of this awful habit.

Then, Saturday arrived. It was a powerful day. There were tears as I listened to the speakers. Karen James, widow of Mt. Hood climber Kelly James, spoke about her husband and his love of the Lord. As she discussed the pain she felt after losing her husband, she said something that really penetrated my heart: "You can either curl up or look up during adversity."

The last speaker of the day was Michelle Aguilar, season six winner of The Biggest Loser. She would use her time pulling back the curtain for us and expose what really occurred on The Biggest Loser Ranch. Behind that curtain was fear. One day on the ranch, Michelle had to climb up a big pole and jump off from a small ledge (yes, with a safety wire). Michelle was crippled with fear and refuse to jump. She would find herself crouching on that ledge while smiling. She was crippled with fear. Down below my favorite Biggest Loser trainer, Jillian Michaels, was yelling at her to get it over with and jump off. After about thirty minutes, Michelle jumped off the ledge. Once she had made it back down to the ground, Jillian asked a poignant question, "Why are you so content sitting in your fear?" She then provided advice for this habit, "Feel the fear and do it anyway." This made such an impact on Michelle. She realized that there was no reason for her to be fearful if only she could put it all in God's hands. When you trust our powerful and Almighty God, fear should not be in your vocabulary.

I combined these thoughts together and reflected upon this past week. I have been repeating the same word over and over this week. "Impossible." I say it because I am fearful of my failure. Back to Karen James' statement, I would probably feel very content curling up in my adversity. But what does that teach me? Why would I be content sitting in my fear of failure? I shouldn't. I don't want my readers to think that I went to the Women of Faith Conference for a way to get my training back on track. That's not it at all. This conference touched me and I can't wait to see what wonderful things the Lord intends on me to do with these blessings. But hey, I'm blogging about my running, so that is why I'm relating it to this challenging week I've had.

I know I promised a giveaway this week. I hope you can understand why I had to postpone it. I felt the gift I was given at this weekend's conference was a more important giveaway.

ACTUAL MILEAGE: 4.59 miles

*Although I didn't run, I did three boot camps and strength training.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

To Hang Up Or Not Hang Up, That Is The Question

I had yet another horrible run this morning. This really bites. I couldn't even finish my 4.5 miles this morning. I only logged 3. Even then, I couldn't even run a full mile. That's two horrible runs in a row. A disturbing 5K on Saturday and then this atrocity of a run this morning. I am seriously considering hanging up my running shoes for good.

There are a slew of reasons why I feel I should stop.

1. My feet are starting to hurt again. Last year I was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis in my left heel. After six months of treatment, if miraculously went away. I was weeks away from surgery and poof. All better. I began running again the first of this year. It came back in my right foot. Took steroids and poof. Better. Now it is back. IN BOTH FEET. How's that for discomfort? It's so bad, I'm wearing my ugly shoes (look at an earlier post titled "Comfort Outranks Beauty").

2. My training is not working. I remember only a few weeks ago I doubled my three mile run, just because it felt good. Like I said, this morning, I couldn't even run a mile without stopping. What is the reason for this?

3. I am not getting any faster. In fact, I'm pretty sure that I am getting slower. How's that for motivation?

4. It's freaking hot out there. It was hot and muggy at 5:30 this morning. It is hot at noon. It is hot at 8:00pm. Does the heat affect my running? My performance? If so, how is this helping me train for my half?

The picture explains it all. I feel like a loser. I am really thinking about quitting. I don't know if I can do this. I need some advice.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


There's nothing much to report this week. I'm halfway through my training and finished this week with a race. Insert sigh here ---->

I ran over five miles on Tuesday, encased by an hour of boot camp. On Friday, my legs (and buttocks) were still sore from that workout. There was more sprint work this week on the dreadmill. I even surprised myself by getting up at 5:00am on Thursday for a run date with a friend. Even I thought I was a little insane for doing that. I found a runner's diet plan midway in the week that I plan on implementing next week. Again, nothing super exciting occurred this week. Until my 5K on Saturday. Maybe exciting is overselling it.

I tossed and turned on Friday night as I anticipated my first race since Mother's Day. I don't know why I was so anxious, nervous, excited, or whatever it was that I was. I think I had higher expectations for myself for this race after all of the training that I have been doing. Let's face it. I. HAVE. BEEN. TRAINING!!!! Yes, in fact, I KNOW I had higher expectations for myself. With my other training plans, I'll be honest, I wasn't as diligent. Maybe I skipped a couple of runs each week. If I did my long run each week, that was what mattered to me most. This time, it's been much different. I have been very careful about making sure that I get my miles in. I really have!

After an argument with Google Maps, we finally arrived at the race site. It was an inaugural race, so I didn't expect a huge crowd. The course was described as "flat and fast", two words that I loved seeing described about a race. I'd say that there were about a few dozen participants that lined up for the 5K race. I'd say that the size of this race makes my mistakes more visible.

Mistake One: I was one of the first ones to line up. Yes, I should not have lined up with the fast guys, but I was ready to start.

Mistake Two: As soon as the air horn went off, I bolted. They say that a race is good to help you pace yourself and keep up with others around you. I should have lined up with at least the mid group of participants. Lesson learned.

Mistake Three: I held my breath. I don't know why. Less than a minute into the race, I was ready to stop. I had an unexplainable feeling in my throat, head and chest. It wasn't good. I seriously considered falling to the ground or twisting my ankle. I wasn't able to get my rhythm back after that horrible start.

I really wanted to cry so many times during the race. Even though the course wound through shaded paths, I was miserable. I even had thoughts of quitting... Not just the race, but training. I thought, "If I can't run three flingin' flangin' (edited of course) miles, how the hell can I expect myself to run 13.1?" I came close to stopping during that first mile and turn around. I came close to walking back to the start of the race and find The Hubster, my biggest fan, and tell him I give up. Why didn't I? I knew what he would say. Oh, but I also knew how great it would feel to have his arms around me and give me the big supportive hug that I love him for. Yes, he would support me if I decided to stop running. However, I know that if he were running next to me he would tell me that I was capable and I could do it and he believed in me. So, I kept going.

36 minutes.

Yes, it took me 36 minutes to run 3.1 miles. My desire to quit had never looked so appealing. I was absolutely mortified and it took everything in my power to not cry. I thought the race was horrible. Seeing my time was worse. This was worse than my first race after injury. Then, KISA reminded me why I participated in this race. I will take the mistakes that I made this time and learn from them. He's one smart guy.

As I close out this week, I leave you with a disturbing visual. Enjoy! Oh, by the way. Check back next week. I'm hosting my first giveaway! I'm very excited!!!

ACCOMPLISHMENT: I learned valuable lessons that will get me through these next six weeks.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


As I sit here and reflect upon my last week of training, I have to say... I'm tired. This Texas heat was brutal. All week the temps were over 100 degrees. On Wednesday, the heat index was 108 degrees. I walked out my door around 6:30pm on Monday to run to boot camp. That day the high was 103. As soon as I exited my garage, it felt as the heat just sucked all my energy out of my body. I went ahead and ran the 2.15 miles to boot camp. Endured an hour of boot camp, which included numerous 30 second bursts of cardio (i.e. runs). I then ran the 2.15 miles back home. The payoff? I burned over 1,000 calories during those two hours. The next day, I was spent. During lunch, in lieu of a workout, I napped at a local park.

My Tuesday workout was enjoyed in the air conditioned gym at work. I did intervals and pushed myself hard on the speed. I was quite proud of myself when I ended that workout. My Thursday run was another torture filled day. It was a mid-day run and another 103 day, heat index of 105. I ventured out with my friend, Tash. She was so supportive of me that day. I clearly did not have it. In fact, I even felt like vomiting. The greatness that is Tash was evident when she had me do crunches on the side of the road to instigate the puke. We suffered through it and even decided to take on a challenge - Mud Run. It's a 10k run in the mud with approximately 18 obstacles... Maybe it was the heat that made us delirious enough to be so gung-ho, but we are completely stoked for this challenge.

All week I had been anticipating my long run for the week. It was only six miles... I say "only" because two weeks ago, I got lost - in my thoughts, in location - and went over six miles. The only difference is that I was going to be on vacation for this long run. Not only was I going to be on vacation, I was on a ranch with tons of hills.

The night before my run, it was raining pretty hard. I was somewhat sad anticipating my run having to be regulated to a fitness center. Luckily, the rain vanished by morning. I started off my run at 6:30, thirty minutes after I wanted it to be. Every once in a while, my runs will go "off road" by a sidewalk ending and I will have to run on some patches of grass. This, however, was drastically different. Rocks, mud, weeds and wildlife! Although, I was watching the placement of my feet to ensure that I didn't break an ankle with each stride, I was still in awe of the scenery. About a mile into the run, ten feet in front of me, four deer crossed my path. It was sheer beauty. I stopped dead in my tracks and just was in awe of these animals. I literally laughed out loud as I watched the deer and thought, "This is freaking crazy." With a smile on my face, I continued my run. Up and down hills. On and off asphalt. Past bison, bunnies and another deer. I was in total awe.

The Hubster got out early, too and decided to take a bike ride to meet me on my run. He approached me in his sopping wet shirt and informed me that he came out to make fun of me for running. However, the joke was on him. He was pretty worn out when he proclaimed, "Those hills are pretty high." I asked if he was still planning on making fun of me. Defeated, he said no. Ha, ha. He rode back to the room to change shirts. Unfortunately, I could not finish up my six mile run (a tummy ache sidelined me). As soon as KISA got back to the room, I called him up and asked him to bring the car and pick me up. Hangs head in shame.

I look forward to this upcoming week. I have great plans for the week. I want to increase my strength training. I'll be halfway through my training plan. I will have run more miles than I ever have. It's gonna be great!

ACCOMPLISHMENT: Speed work proved successful. Also, worked out on vacation.