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!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Training Runs = DONE

Sunday is the BIG day! The day I've been training for since September 17, 2012! All the getting up before the chickens, literally, running in the cold, setbacks, successes and aches and pains are about to pay off! I feel like I'm about to ride a really scary roller coaster. I'm nervous and excited and really cannot wait until Sunday morning!

Last weekend we tackled 11 miles with our running group, Team #noexcuses. Can I just say how much I love my team? After joining Versus almost a year ago, I never would have imagined how much my life would change, the friends I'd make or the changes I'd see in myself. In class last night we talked about re-branding ourselves, and I definitely believe that is what is happening to me. That's another whole blog post that will take place on my one-year Versus anniversary, April 2.

I know I can do 11 miles without stopping, so let's just hope I feel as good as I did last Sunday! Brad and I both have come so far, and I know he's going to kill it!

In the midst of all our training, we headed on down to the Mardi Gras. Marie and I share a lot of things in common. We also have a few things that make us polar opposites, such as our taste in music (she's never been one to love MMMBop), but our love for Mardi Gras is something that we'll always share. Marie and Trey took us to Mardi Gras and we got to take them on a mini-John Besh food crawl to Luke and Domenica.

Next year!

Until next year, my dry-cleaned Perlis dress will hang in the closet.

Wish Team #noexcuses luck this weekend! I'll see you on the other side with my 13.1 sticker!


I forgot to mention how good we're going to look crossing that finish line! Design by Rampage Design.