Friday, September 8, 2017

Happy Birthday to MEEEE!!!!

You know you've got a keeper when he buys you fitness-related things for your birthday ❤️

On another note, I'm still working on a post that I've been working on since Mothers' Day. No more excuses. I have to get it done. :sigh:

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Transformation Tuesday

In January of 2016, I posted a picture of myself poolside after my first Adult Stroke Class and announced my goal to complete a sprint triathlon by May 2017. Sadly, there were other plans for my life. 

A couple months after my declaration, my father experienced complications after a stem cell transplant. After a nearly 3 month battle towards recovery, his body, literally, failed him. He died July 1st. Exactly 2 months after my stepmother called me about my father, my mother called to tell me that her time on this earth was limited. A few weeks later, I became an orphan. Just when I thought 2016 could not get any worse for our family, my beloved Pug (my original baby), died the day after Christmas.

I tell you all this, because, as crazy as it may seem, running kept me sane through it all. Those who follow my personal Facebook page have seen my effort, and my aunt -- my mom's youngest sister -- once asked me what I was running from. I didn't have an answer for her at the time, but have since discovered my reason. My mom was my biggest cheerleader, although virtually, and had often called me her "shero." I continued to hit the pavement, because I knew she would want me to. It's also where I felt/feel closest to God and converse with Him often. There's a point here, I promise you 🙂

Putting in QT on the bike trainer (Photo credit: My 5 year old)

January of this year, I renewed my goal of becoming a sprint triathlete. I put my Christmas gift on the bike trainer and started to rack up some serious miles. I even participated in a couple IronKIWI virtual events. Although, I did not reach my May deadline, I still achieved that sprint triathlon goal Father's Day weekend during the Life's A Beach Triathlon! 

A BGDB Shero (greed/blue) and I (in red) heading into the water (Photo credit @SouthernStoneEvents)
Starting Garmin/Leaving Transition
(Photo credit @SouthernStoneEvents)
Sprinting Towards the Finish Line
(Photo credit @SouthernStoneEvents)

One of our local BGR! Ambassadors said, "We all have life circumstances . . ." In my case, I run to burn off the crazy! Stay encouraged friends!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy New Year 2017!

Good riddance 2016! I am glad to see you go, but am devastated that my parents and my dog joined those whose lives were lost during your seemingly endless 366 days. As much as I would love to steal back my loved ones and bring them into this new year, I have to set my feelings aside -- for now -- and do my best to carry on, one day at a time.

So, Day 1 started with the Polar Plunge 🏊🏾‍♀️ I've been plunging with my running buddies every year since 2013. Over the years, our number has dwindled. Last year, I encouraged one of my BGR! Sole Sisters to run and plunge with me since our usual group decided to pass. The Mr. and the kiddos usually come too since we celebrate our plunge with breakfast at Beach Diner. This, however, was the first year that I have been solo. At first, I was pretty bummed, but chose not to wallow in self pity and, instead, "shifted the prism." I saw a new year with new beginnings and embraced the solitude. After all, here was the opportunity for the alone time I so desired and everyone always told me I needed. I took lots of pictures, even video, so I could look back on how I "survived" without the perceived security of familiar faces. I spent extra time in the water to reflect on the past year. I submerged myself three times in remembrance of my father, mother and dog. Every time the sting of the cold water washed over me, I acknowledged the pain of each loss and continued to kneel until I was ready to accept their absence. It was a liberating experience, so much so, that I went back to spend a little more time in the water, this time to celebrate the new year.

Oh! I also met a fellow blogger who asked to photograph me for her blog. I'm looking forward to reading her thoughts on the Polar Plunge.

After I got home, The Mr. prepared a traditional southern New Year's Day meal of Hoppin' John, collard greens and cornbread which was timed perfectly for my uncle's arrival. He was passing through on his way back home from visiting my grand/great uncle and stopped by to break bread with us. It was nice having family visit, even though it was brief. One of the thoughts that often triggered an overflow of emotions was that neither of my parents got to visit our new home.

By the time our visitor left and the children were down for the night, it was too dark for me to safely get any miles in for the IronKIWI 140.6 Challenge (more info to come). So, I ended the day with a little QT with my Christmas gift and the dreaded bike trainer for 10.17 miles powered by the first 17 songs in Act I of "Hamilton," because 20.17 miles was too much for me 🚴🏾‍♀️ Happy New Year!
Christmas gift from The Mr.: Fuji 2.0 LE - 2016
I survived Day 1, and I'm still smiling

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Be The Finish!

I have been participating in this race since 2010, but I never truly "got it." I mean, my mother was a cancer survivor, but I seemed to have repressed the memory of her battle, probably because there were so many other things happening at the same time (my parents divorce, my father's remarriage, and the loss of our home during Hurricane Andrew to name a few). I saw survivors at the races and heard stories of those we'd lost, but, for some strange reason, it never truly resonated with me until now.

2016 has by far been the most difficult year of my life. In the past 3 months, I lost both of my parents, and cancer played a role in their deaths. In honor of the DONNA's 10th Anniversary and in memory of family and friends lost, I am asking for $10 donations to help The Donna Foundation support families as we work to FINISH this disease. I am also taking part in the Inaugural Booby Trap Challenge. Let's make 2017 our best year yet!
The Booby Trap Challenge is the DONNA 10K, 5K and either the Full or Half Marathon

Friday, August 19, 2016

"Oops! . . . I Did It Again"

Yes, I am channeling Britney Spears (I even pulled up the YouTube video to reminisce), but it's the perfect way to describe my little late night race registration relapse. You know how you hear about a race, pull it up on your browser, realize it's not in your budget, yet keep the window open for days weeks until you either find a discount code, approach the price increase deadline, or simply run out of rational reasons why you shouldn't register? Oh, that's never happened to you? Weird . . .

Anyway, the newest addition to my 2016 race calendar is the Psych Ed Connections Turkey Trot 5K/10K. Cons: I haven't decided which distance I'm running -- it's just three days before Space Coast -- and it's their inaugural race, so I'm not sure what to expect. Pros: It's close to home, it beats driving to Mandarin for the Thanksgiving Classic (although I have not run that race since I started the Big Bang Series in 2013, I still got up early and cheered my friends on), partial proceeds benefit Youth Crisis Center, and there is a parade after the races. Sounds like a winner, eh?

Monday, May 23, 2016

"It's time, once again . . ."

Every February since 2010, I have run 26.2 with Donna The National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer. Subsequently, every year since 2011, I have begun my fundraising efforts with "It's time, once again for the 26.2 with Donna National Breast Cancer Marathon!" 

Well, today, ladies and gentlemen, registration is open, and :say it with me now: it's time, once again, for the 26.2 with Donna National Breast Cancer Marathon! In 2017 they will be celebrating their 10th anniversary, so we're in for a real treat. In addition to their usual Family Fun Run, 5K, RelayHalf, Full and 110 Ultra Marathons, they have added an Anniversary 10K and, what I suspect will be my new personal favorite, The Booby Trap Challenge (10K, 5K and either the half or full marathon)!

THIS is why I run:

First Coast News' Video from 2015 Race

So, who's running with me?!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Testing, testing . . .

. . . is this thing on?! 

So, last week during a seemingly endless Facebook scroll, I stumbled upon what appeared to be the perfect shirt for me. For those who may not know me -- presumable all of you -- I have had an obsession a love affair with the sport of running since a coworker, now dear friend, of mine roped me into marathon training back in 2009. Prior to this training, my running experience consisted of running, usually two weeks at a time, when I noticed I needed to lose a pound or ten, but I figured it would be a great way to jump start my new decade.

To make a long story short, I joined her on this journey and ran my first training 5K July 25, 2009, as shown in my profile picture. Over the next 16 months, I ran my first 5K race, marathon, 15K and half marathon (in that order). Gone is the occasional runner I was in my 20's. In her place stands the medal-obsessed marathon mom who, this season, stepped way outside her comfort zone and took on the roles of co-leader of a local Jeff Galloway Training group and Group Run Lead of a pilot group for a local chapter of Black Girls RUN!

None of this would be possible without God's grace, and I certainly owe a lot to my husband for allowing me a morning of stroller-free running on Saturdays, so I can enjoy my long runs without distraction. Now, sit back, relax, and watch me burn off the crazy . . . 
The inspiration behind my new motto