Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Guess what day it is? SNOW DAY!

As many, many months have passed, and I've neglected this blog, the extra inside time today due to the icy conditions mixed with the excitement of race week has given me the opportunity and push to pick back up this little gem that is my blog. I use little gem loosely.   

Since #runsandguns nothing much has changed. Several US of A travel trips, workouts, running, work and master's classes occupy my hours. We've changed up our daytime workout routine a bit, adding stairs and jump roping to our otherwise regular lunch runs, hot yoga is still hot as hell and 4:40 a.m. still feels really early.

I'm happy to report that the master's classes have ceased and pending the results of my comprehensive exam, I'm scheduled to graduate in May. I may or may not have cried a few tears of relief at the wrap up of this chapter. Although I learned a decent amount, and I'm grateful for the opportunity, obtaining this degree has been one of the least favorite and most unenjoyable things I've ever done in my life and given the choice, I'm not sure I would do it all over again. Papers, homework and presentations don't mix well with our schedule, and I find myself in a state of euphoria when I realize I can focus all of my time outside of work on things that I actually want to do. With that being said, I'm confident this chapter will lead me down a path of reflection that will lead to the action that is: What do I want to be when I grow up? "Where you are today is no accident. God is using the situation you are in right now to shape you and prepare you for the place He wants to bring you into tomorrow. Trust Him with His plan even if you don't understand it."    

With the newness of the new year wearing off, I've decided that the word best to encompass all that I want out of 2014 is priorities. There is true beauty in the power of not only saying no, but in doing the things and being in the places where I truly want to be and not apologizing for doing so. By surrounding myself with people that build me up and make me a better person, I no longer feel obligated to do things my heart isn't invested in. 2014 is looking bright! 

As mentioned above, it's race week! New Orleans Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon round two with Team No Excuses is roughly four days away! Last year I did something never in my wildest dreams I thought would happen. From not being able to run a fourth of a mile to running 13.1 without stopping, this race is so much more than a race. It's a symbol of how far I've come since joining the Versus Strength and Conditioning community and proof to myself that I really can do anything I put my mind to. I can actually achieve goals if I put in the hard work! What started out as a race has turned into a tradition that will forever hold a happy place in my heart! Our first five-miler of half training was on Thanksgiving and with the longest training runs behind us, I can't wait to run with some of my most favorite people who inspire me everyday in the city that I love! What a perfect combination!

I'm hoping for a PR this weekend, but no matter the outcome, I'll be happy and pleased and proud to cross that finish line with another 13.1 in the books!


Friday, August 2, 2013


I follow JournalMENU on Facebook, and they have some of the most spot-on, relatable posts! 

This week a post about support groups popped up on my newsfeed, and it hit so close to home in relation to my July (and the past year and three months even), I just had to copy and paste it below.

Support group.

That's what you get when you cross the threshold. Every single day. You get the people who want you to succeed, the people who believe in what you are doing, the people who suffer next to you. Your support group allows you to let go. To let go of all the naysayers. To let go of all the people who tell you that you can't, or that you will never, or that it's impossible. To let go of all your doubts, your "I can't", your weaknesses. Your support group lets you rise above. They help you crush your goals, slaughter your WODs and become who you strive to be. And the best part? The best part is you don't have to walk in the box in perfect physical condition, have your pullups, be crazy strong or super gymnastic. Your support group doesn't care.You just have to walk in the door. So drop all your dead weight. Drop the people who aren't cheering you on, who aren't rooting for you. Drop the people who think you are crazy, or too focused or too driven. Your support group will prop you up, and all you have to do in return is prop them up. So let them cheer you on and start killing it.

I share this because July was a whirlwind, I felt like I had zero free time and when I thought I couldn't go anymore or get up with that 4:30 a.m. alarm clock, I just thought about my support group, put one foot on the ground at a time and drove myself half asleep and sore as hell to our morning workouts. Not one time did I regret a workout.  

On the last day of June I saw someone post on Facebook that they ran 100 miles. In typical 'let's see how many times a day we can workout' fashion, I immediately text Katie, 1/4 of the BBs, and proposed the idea of setting a goal to run 100 miles in July. She jumped on board and on July 1 we started our 100-mile journey on top of five morning workouts per week and our weekly 90-minute hot yoga routine. I should also mention that any running we did in our daily workouts, even when we would run a mile, didn't count towards the grand total, hence the term runs and guns (you know, when running just isn't enough). The goal was 100 miles extra and we made it! Brad and a few others jumped on board and accepted the 100 miles in July challenge as well, and we spent the month of July encouraging each other and holding one another accountable. Accountability people! It's that magic diet pill you've been searching for!

  The BBs, mentioned above, are the core of my support group! 
These girls definitely get it. 

Excuse me as I backtrack briefly, but when I started working at Southern Miss I joined a team full of runners. These people have run a multitude of marathons and continue to motivate me in all my fitness endeavors everyday as they unknowingly set amazing examples. I can remember a conversation Brad and I had with my co-worker and now good friend Dawn the very first week I was on campus. Brad told Dawn he'd never run any type of long distance because "people die (the Boudreauxs are never dramatic or anything)." Now we're working on our second half marathon and who knows what else!

Back to now: On the morning of July 31 at 4:44 a.m. I embarked on the last two miles of the month's 100-mile journey and, as Brad would say, it was glorious! 

With July all wrapped up and 100 miles conquered, we're now two days into August. A month that we're pretty excited about as it brings some pretty big changes our way!  

Watch out Downtown Hattiesburg! The Boudreauxs are moving in!


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

100 Miles in July

Yep! A few good friends and I are running 100 miles in July! A Facebook friend did it for the month of June and it has inspired me to do the same for this month. Because it's not enough that we workout 5 days a week and take a hot yoga class, now we're going to throw in a 100 miles on top of it. The only rule is that running in workouts DO NOT count. 

I'm happy to report that day 1 of the 100 miles in one month challenge went really well, and I even broke a personal record thanks to Katie who pushed me to pick up the pace! 

Only 96 more miles to go!


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

No Excuses Round 2

In 236 days Team No Excuses will be running the Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon once again! With lots of buzz about the race trickling through a couple Versus Strength and Conditioning boot camps, this year's team is going to be a just a little bigger than the previous year, and I'm looking forward to making new running friends!
Never could I have ever thought I'd run a half marathon. Let alone sign up for a second one!

Yes, I remember what mile 10 felt like. How my legs weighed 1,000 pounds. How I wanted to gag every time I choked down an energy jelly bean. How my thoughts were consumed with just making it to the finish line without walking - so much so I may have imagined the end a few times, like a desert mirage. 

I also remember how it felt to cross the finish line, to work so hard for something for seven or so months and to create a unique bond with a group of people - a 'you had to have been there to really understand' type of bond. Not to mention a runner's high that lasted for... I don't know, MONTHS!

It's for all of those reasons that I'm doing this again. 

Currently we try to run when we can - lunch, four-mile post-work or three-mile pre-Saturday morning workouts. Honestly, we're running and working out more now than we ever did prior to our first half marathon, but we'll still need to get on a strict schedule soon. 

Last time around Brad and I avoided the hills of Bellegrass and Bent Creek, opting for flat surfaces such as The Trace, but this time around, we plan on taking our training a lot more serious! With an alarm clock that goes off in the 4 o'clock hour five days a week, hot yoga once a week, and the talk of making a couple of bike purchases (dang helmet), we'll have to manage our time for afternoon runs and long runs on the weekends, but we're excited to train with our friends, work hard and set a PR for this race.  

Speaking of personal records...

This weekend we ran in a local 5K and for the first time I ran three miles in under 30 minutes and ran my fastest mile to date! Shout out to Katie and Dawn - running with people that are ten times faster than you can only make you faster (no, I didn't say fast - I said faster than I was). It was a great race with great friends! Emma Claire even sported a number and "ran" in the race as well! 

Naturally, to celebrate our morning run, we went to a beer festival. What a fun (and long) day! Those small tasting glasses are deceiving. I've never drank so much beer in my life.

Sticking to the theme of this post: A few weeks ago Brad and I spent a couple of nights in New Orleans and did a jogging tour. It was a lot of fun, a great experience and we'd recommend anyone who wants to get a good six miles in before tipping back a few to check it out! 

Brad recently celebrated his one-year Versus anniversary, and new experiences such as this one always trigger a reflection on how far we've come since starting this journey. 

Recently I have had a couple of close friends start their own personal fitness journey. I am no expert by any means but if I could offer them any kind of advice, and what has worked for me, it would be exactly what the great Amy Poehler (yes, those SNL folks are genius) said: 
"Find a group of people that challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life."

The group that has challenged and inspired me 
and keeps doing so everyday! 


Monday, March 18, 2013

5K Friday

It's been a few weeks since Team No Excuses dominated the New Orleans Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon. I'm certain we've almost all finally came down from our runner's high (almost). 

Never say never. I said I'd never put one of those 13.1 stickers on my car! Well, these are magnets but I was so proud of us, I couldn't resist!

Proud to join the 13.1 club!
Since the half marathon, Brad has set a goal for us to run a minimum of 15 miles per week. I'm going into week three and haven't faltered once! Boot camp, occasional lunch runs with Dawn and early morning runs on Tuesday and Thursday with Katie have all kept me in check! A big thanks to those that choose to run with me even though I'm a little... a lot bit slower than they are. It really means so much! I haven't counted any of our boot camp work outs in that total - well until today, when we ran two miles during the work out! Yep, I'm counting those in my weekly total for sure!

This past Friday we ran in a little 5K that was really fun (once it was over)! Dawn ran it with me, just for giggles, and pushed me to beat my previous 5K time of 33:15. This time I did it in 31:11 and Brad, watch out people, did his in under 30 minutes! He beat his goal! 

Dawn's fancy Garmin!
Saturday morning, bright and early, we hit the road to Jackson for a little St. Patrick's Day parade with the Newman/Cameron crew! Amanda and I, without planning, have spent the past three St. Patrick's Day weekends together! A tradition we would like to keep going! FYI: That green beer is sneaky!

 Since the half marathon and The Challenge has concluded, Brad and I are pretty scared to lose what we've accomplished during the last several months. I still have one goal in particular that's pretty close in reach but is going to take some serious commitment if I plan on reaching it by my April 2 one-year Versus anniversary. It hasn't been easy, but by surrounding myself with people who have the same goals in mind as I do, this journey has been rewarding and believe it or not, a hell of a lot of fun! (AT Bellegrass Shoutout!)

Tonight I'll leave you with these little tidbits...


Wednesday, February 27, 2013


I'm not. 

I never have been. 

How then, did I just run 13.1 miles without walking and complete my first half-marathon? I'll tell you how.

On April 2, 2013, I will celebrate my one-year anniversary with Versus Strength and Conditioning. I remember seeing an advertisement for a boot camp that was going to be offered in a nearby neighborhood and hesitantly, I emailed the contact and requested more information. I have saved every email that my Boot Camp Coach Jamie Page has ever sent me, including the response sent on March 15, 2012 to my "I'm VERY interested but a little nervous, I know it's supposed to hurt but I'm not the fastest runner nor am I in the best of shape" inquiry. 

She said: 

YES! This is exactly for you. Most people that start boot camp are where you are at. I was once a boot camper too! The camp is designed to gradually get you where you want to be. I'm not saying that the first weeks are easy, it will be challenging and you will be sore. It's suppose to kick start you into a new way of working out and thinking about nutrition. Going out there the first time is the hardest part and I know where you are at. 
And so I signed up. On April 2, 2012, with a knot in my stomach, weighing about 30 pounds more than I do now, I drove to my first day of boot camp. It was dark, I was so nervous I was sick, and I especially didn't want to get out of bed at 5 a.m. to go to some field in the dark to workout with strangers.

Jamie was really nice and encouraging from the beginning and after I signed my life away and paid for a couple of months of this so-called "boot camp" that I knew nothing about, I completed my first tester workout. After going through all sorts of nutrition information that went in one ear and out the other and explaining our "little black books" where we would be recording everything we ate, she then said something along the lines of, "After this class is over, if a friend wants to run a 5K on a Saturday, you'll be able to up and go run one with them." 

As I sat there wide-eyed and frightened, literally, I thought, "Yeah right. Didn't she hear me say that I'm not a runner multiple times when we first met and even prior, in our email correspondences?" 

Then about a month later, I ran my first half-mile without stopping. Jamie was right there with me the whole way. And then on September 8, 2012, I ran my first 5K in 36 minutes. I walked some but Jamie was there again. Never giving up on me. 

And then on Sunday, February 24, 2013, after about five months of training, I ran my first half-marathon. And you guessed right. Jamie was right there the entire time. When I crossed the finish line I cried, Brad cried and Jamie cried. I could have never done this without the support of my Versus family and Brad, who is a part of that family as well!   

That first boot camp class seems like ages ago. Since I've started this journey, I've made some amazing friends, gained a phenomenal support system and actually look forward to working out! 

After my first 5K, my co-worker Dawn, who has a deep passion for running and who has become a dear friend and a great cheerleader, suggested I sign-up for the New Orleans Rock 'n' Roll half marathon. She even went as far as developing a running schedule for me. I had all the tools. All I had to do was commit. Again, with lots of doubt and hesitation and not much faith in myself, I brought the idea up to my coach and a few others in our boot camp class and we all committed! For about 5 months, Brad, Jamie, Stephanie, Katie and myself set crazy early alarm clock times, ran on our days off and even ran before our regular boot camp classes. Without those four people, there is no way I could have reached that half marathon goal. With those four, lots of encouraging words and runs with my BFFAL Amy, and the rest of  Team #NOEXCUSES, we all ran 13.1 miles on Feb. 24! 

I've never had a Michelob Ultra taste so good!

And we've arrived!
Oh, just stretching...
The whole team before the race! #noexcuses
3... 2... 1!
And we're off!
What a surprise! Erica and Page were on the sideline holding these signs for me and Brad! Erica even ran about a mile with me!
Coming in for the big finish!
I'm so glad we got to do this together!
Hey Moe Moe!
Our first and Heather's third! I want to be like her one day!

Brad's under 2 hour and 30 minute time! I was so proud!

I had so much support along the way and I've thanked each and every person who sent good luck wishes that weekend and throughout the whole journey, but without this one special lady, I'd probably still be in those size 12 pants, unable to run half a mile, let alone 13.1, and still hanging around coming up with excuse after excuse as to why I can't run. 

God puts different people in your life for a reason...

...He put Jamie in mine to whip me into shape and to show me that I AM A RUNNER!