Monday, October 24, 2011

Re-Evaluation Time

I have taken the past few days to think:
 - Think about exercising & running & foods to eat
 - Think about if I really want to do this/have what it takes
 - Think about what it will take to complete a full marathon
 - Think about my relationship with God
 - Think about how my past has impacted my today (this was a big one!)

The list goes on and on.  Actually last week my thoughts overwhelmed every aspect of my life.  I didn't complete my homework assignments because I was overwhelmed.  I was off for most of the week, but when I did go back to work, I didn't want to because I felt like I couldn't function.  I'm not a crier, but I actually wanted to cry everyday (although nothing came out).  Just overwhelmed.

But tonight I went to church and I think that the message sort of calmed me down and confirmed the direction that I need to go.  Between work, school, exercising, life - the overwhelmingness that I was experiencing is as a result of trying to meet the needs of everyone else and trying to live up to everyone's expectation of me.  Do you know how hard that is?  Tonight Pastor Steve Jamison from Seattle, Washington said a few things that left me evaluating me.  He asked a question - "What has to move in your life in order for God to take His place?"  I had to be honest with myself, although I love God and am committed to Christ, I have not made Him a priority for a long time.  I've made school a priority.  I've made work a priority.  I've made working out a priority.  I've made my family and friends a priority.  I have not made God the A number 1 priority in everything that I do.  The bible says to trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all of your ways acknowledge Him and He shall make your pathways straight (or direct your paths - based on the translation that your reading).

How do I make God my A number 1 priority in the mist of all of my other commitments?  He wants me to be faithful to my commitments, but I have to put them in the correct order.  I can wake up in time for work or to exercise, and can stay up until 2 and 3 o'clock in the morning to complete homework; but, I can't wake up to read my Bible - that's not making Him a priority.  If you say that you love me, spending quality uninterrupted time with me is a necessity in order for me to believe that you love me.  It's the same way with God.  Making Him a priority means that I spend uninterrupted time with Him on a consistent basis.

Regarding this marathon journey, am I going to accomplish the task and run a full marathon....yes.  Am I going to come up with a consistent exercise schedule that will not play a part in overwhelming me...yes.  I'm not going to quit on me.  That's what I'd be doing if I don't complete the task.  Besides, this a God given goal because there is ABSOLUTELY no way that I would have come up with this on my own.  Now, I've off to finish homework that I have not done yet so that I don't fail my class.  Will you pray with me please?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Marathon Goal Postponement????

Earlier this year I signed up for the Walt Disney Marathon, taking place in Walt Disney World on Sunday, January 8, 2012.  It is a 26.2 mile run that I'm told is primarily flat and easy (I don't know about you, but nothing about running is easy!!).  Runners have a maximum of 7 1/2 hours to complete the entire race.  If you don't maintain a 17 mile per minute pace, you will be loaded onto a bus and not given the opportunity to complete the race.

To date, I have completed multiple 5k's, a 10k and now a Half.  The next step is a full marathon, but after this weekend's race, I've seriously evaluated the overall timeline of my goal.  Am I being realistic in in trying to complete FULL MARATHON in January?  January is only two and a half months away...again, am I being realistic??  I've enjoyed this training process.  The relationships developed and support received has been priceless.  I know that I would not be at this place had not various people walked (or run) along side of me

The Options
1.  I can train really hard and purpose to run the race regardless of my training time.

2.  I can postpone my participation in the race until 2013.  That way my time is improved and I'm way better prepared.

3.  I can set a goal to determine my participation in the race - by December 19th, if I can run 13.1 miles in 3 hours and 15 minutes, then I'll participate in Disney, if I don't make that time, then I postpone my participation in the race.

I'm pretty torn.  I feel like #3 is the best option....but at the same time, I don't want it to seem like I am quitting or backing off of the overall goal.  The challenge with training is that I'm so tired from work and school (doing both full time is overwhelming) that I don't want to train.  I don't want to get up early and it's too late to go out at night by the time I finish homework.  Like right now as I type this, I just finished homework and it is 3:11am.

If I take option #2, I can complete a 5k each month and participate in a 10k quarterly and do the Baltimore Running Festival Half again to evaluate my overall time.  That puts me in a better place of being prepared for any distance race and my time would half to improve with completing so many races.

If I take option #1, I can purpose to get 4 to 5 hours of sleep each night.  Doing that will allow me to participate in bootcamp & a 5 mile run in the am and then an evening run before homework.  That seems like a lot - but if it were easy, everyone would be doing it right??

Ok, I'm going to bed and will make an official decision tomorrow morning.  Stay Tuned!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Bed Rest

I have a bad habit of over committing myself and my time. Saturday after the race I had two events to go to (of which I only made one) and then yesterday I worked all day, went to counseling, walked a little, did homework and then bed. See what I mean?

So today I put myself on bed rest. I stayed in the bed all day except when I got up to eat (which I need to do again) and to use the bathroom. This is something that I never do unless I am terribly sick or injured, but I think it was necessary. It's quiet and a little lonely but if someone were here I probably wouldn't talk to them anyway.

My body totally doesn't hurt as much anymore. My feet are still tender, but I guess that's to be a little expected. Tomorrow is a new day filled with activities and adventures.....but today is filled quiet and rest....and I like it.

Half Marathon...DONE!!!

...shhhhhh.... I have a secret to share.  I really didn't think that this race was a possibility....shhhh...that is only between you and I.

Pre-Race Excitement
Joking, but ABSOLUTELY serious.  I was nervous about this race.  I was one person of 11,000.  Do you know how many people that is?  Yesterday started for me at an early 3:45am.  I had to get up, get ready and get to Baltimore at a good time.  There are a couple of things that I wanted to accomplish:
 - I wanted to find a good parking spot close to the finish line so that I wouldn't have to go far to get back to the car after everything was over
 - I wanted to figure out where the start line was
 - I wanted to be up front for the singing of the National Anthem
 - I wanted to get safety pins to attach my bib to my shirt since I didn't pick up any at the Health Expo

I joined wave #5 and waited for the alarm to sound.  Because I was so far back, I couldn't hear anything, but the crowd started moving and I moved with them.  Some people started jogging but I figured, "We are nearly a quarter of a mile away from the starting line, why not wait until then to run" - which is what I did.  I started off with a light jog and then into a full press run.  I decided that I would not look back at all throughout the course of the race.  I only want to focus on what's ahead of me and not behind me.  That sort of worked up until everything was silent behind me and I started wondering if I was the last person.  I wasn't, but the 11,000 really spread out.  Around mile two, I thought that I was making a HUGE mistake.  The course was really hard.  There were so many hills at sharp inclines/declines and cross winds that nearly knocked me over.  It was crazy.  At about mile 8 and I half, I was done.  I wanted to get in someone's car and have them drive me to the finish line.  My body was in pain - my back hurt, my right lung hurt (I know, who can really feel their lung...ME) and my feet were getting sore.  I wanted to cheat to be honest with you.  Instead of going around this huge lake, I wanted to join the people who had already traveled around it.

It was good that I went around the lake because there was a paramedic station.  I ended up stopping there because my hands and arms swelled up so much that I couldn't move them, my back was super stiff and my lung hurt.  The doctor checked my lungs and said everything sounded clear (but had me take a puff of my inhaler), gave me three ibuprofen, and had me put icyhot on my back.  After that stop, I was back on  the course.  At about mile 10, I wanted to stop and just cry.  I paused, but couldn't completely stop, I couldn't.  When I was on the last stretch, mile 12, I had to fight back the tears.  In the distance, I could see the finish line and thought to myself, "Rochelle, your not a quitter anymore" and it did something to me.  I had my phone and someone sent a text that said, "The race is not given to the swift nor to the strong, but to the one who endures until the end".  They didn't know that I was walking at a snails pace when they sent that message.  They didn't know that I felt like I could not take one more step and that inside I was feeling like a complete failure because I well surpassed my goal time.  It was exactly what I needed to hear.  I had endured to the end.  I wasn't fast and my body was weak, but I endured!

I get to Camden Yard and can see the finish line.  People start cheering and I'm fighting the tears really hard now.  The photographer said, "If your going to cry, cry now.  When you get to that finish line, you run as hard as you can with the biggest smile on your face because you are almost done" and that is what I did.  I wiped my face, picked up my pace and smiled.  The cheering felt like being in an amphitheater filled with a cheering crowd and I was the star of the show.  My time?  A jaw dropping 4 hours and 48 minutes.  Am I disappointed..yes and no.  Yes because it's not the time that I wanted.  No because I didn't not quit, I did not faint.  I DID IT!!

If I could do something different, I would
 - get more than 2 hours of sleep before a big race
 - eat something so my stomach isn't completely empty
 - stretch everyday the week of the race to help my muscles
 - train harder & cross train more frequently
 - stop believing the lie that I can't do this, because clearly I can

When the official photo's are available, I will post some, but I am super proud of yesterday's accomplishment.  Now I have to recover and get to training for Disney in January.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


With less than 12 hours left before my half marathon begins and ends, I'm filled with thoughts. So much so that I feel like I could either throw up or cry uncontrollably. Why?

Because I have been an awesome quitter over the course of my life and I haven't completely quit this goal. I have made goal after goal and very rarely seen them to completion. This marathon journey goal has not been what I thought it would be. I haven't done everything that I wanted to do. I haven't been as consistent as I feel I should have been in my training. But at the end of the day.... I didn't throw in the towel. I should have been in the bed hours ago, buy I had school work to do.

The next time you hear from me, I will be a half marathon completer. Regardless of the time and even if I'm the last person to cross the finish line, I will be one step away from completing this MARATHON JOURNEY!!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

So, how'd I do??

Of the 5 goals I established last night, I accomplished 2 of them.  I ate three meals today with a snack.  Tomorrow I'll make the choices a little more healthy, but purpose to eat three times.  That has to be a goal for me because I don't always eat regularly which is not good.  The second goal is that I am blogging right now.

I didn't work out because I didn't get up this morning and I just left work - which means the gym is closed and it's too dark to be doing anything outside by myself.  Now I have to go work on my hair because if one more person tells me that my hair looks a mess, I may just break down and cry.  Night night!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

19 Day until Race Day

Can you believe it, I am less that 19 days away from my half marathon.  That is a grand total of 13.1 miles that will be filled with running, walking, sweat, noise, silence, thinking and ultimate victory.

Am I ready....HECK NO!!  Have I diligently prepared for this race...DOUBLE HECK NO!!!  Do I want to through in the towel and not do the race...HEAVENS YES!!!  But, I made a commitment to do full marathon, half marathon, 10k and a 5k.  I've done a few 5k's and one 10k to date.  I can't quit at this point, I just can't.

You know, we all have decisions and choices to make throughout the course of our life.  Either those decisions are going to be made based on how we "feel" or they will be made out of "focus" to really accomplish the goal.  For the past few months I felt like I lost my "mojo", but today I was really challenged in focusing my goals and being intentional in taking the necessary steps to accomplish those goals.  I have the plan, I have the resources to execute the plan, now it's time to just do the plan.  Sometimes we gotta do things that we don't want to do in order get to the place we wanna be.  Am I ready to do, but working the plan is necessary to avoid living a life filled with I "coulda, woulda, shoulda".

Tomorrow is a new day which will be filled with new choices, new obstacles and new challenges.  So that I'm prepared, my five goals for the week are:

1.  Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner & drink a gallon of water every day
2.  Run/Walk for one hour every day totaling at least 30 miles this week
3.  Ride my bike for at least 12 miles this week
4.  Core training 3 days this week for at least 45 minutes
5.  Blog my progress which creates accountability

Come back tomorrow to find out how Monday turned out!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

September is officially here which means summer is over

September is officially here which means summer is over.  The time of vacation, resting and relaxing is done and it's time to hit the pavement and make moves as I have a half marathon race in less than 6 weeks.  I'm registered for the Baltimore Running Festival's (sponsored by Under Armour & Blue Cross Blue Shield) Half Marathon division.  I've known all year that I was going to do this race, but these last few months I have been SO unmotivated to do any physical activity.  Really, I've barely done anything.   Now granted, between work, preparing for Africa (yeah, I went to Africa on a missions trip for 19 days this summer) and just life, I've been busy.  But you know what I've been convicted about?  If I can make time for everyone else, why not make time to do something that's beneficial for me?  No really, if to no one else, I have to be a priority to me and as many times that you hear that and people "preach" that message, we have to get it for ourself.

September is officially here which means summer is over.  This summer I've learned that I'm really important.  My health is important.  My body is important.  My appearance is important.  My space and possessions are important.  Taking everyone else out of the equation - family (immediate, extended & distant), friends, co-workers, church members, etc. what and how I feel about Rochelle is something that I've evaluated and thought about and debated about and cried about and really lost sleep about.  Anybody who knows me knows that for the most part I'm a great talker.  But what I "say" and what I "do" have not been the same and I can't keep deliberately doing that.  We all stumble, we all sin, we all make mistakes, but at some point my yes has to be yes and no has to be no.  What does all of that mean because I feel like I'm kinda rambling. It means I'm important and I'm going to treat myself like that.  I can only love someone else as much as I love myself.  If I treat myself like trash, no matter how hard I try, I'm going to treat others like trash right?

September is officially here which means summer is over.  My summer has awakened something within me that has been dead for a long time and I'm excited about experiencing new and exciting things over the next few months as a result.  You can join me on this ride if you want too, but even if you don't, I'm not getting off!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Day 362: Year in Review

First 5k on Thanksgiving Morning
Can you believe it, I have been on this journey for just about one year (well 3 days away from it actually).  Part of me wants to do a year in review video, but I don't have enough video footage for anything like that.  But what I do have is a years worth of blogging and pictures from races.

Second 5k - National Walk It
I started out by blogging everyday, then it went to once a week, then to once a month and then whenever I thought about it or had something amazing to say.  This journey began with working out twice a day (called 2-a-Days), once in the morning at PG Track with Tiffany & Kayla in what I called "Track Date".  It's my special time with the track to sweat and push myself further than I ever thought that I could go.  The amazing thing about "Track Date" is as you go with regularity, you begin developing relationships with other people there.  Some mornings when we'd do sprints or run longer, you'd have people give you thumbs up sign as that unspoken encouragement you needed to make it.

The Goal
I'm sorta proud of myself because for the most part, the goal has remained consistent....train to run a marathon in 2011 while doing smaller races in the process.  To date, I have done 3 5k's and 1 10k.  I've signed up for the Under Armour Half Marathon in Baltimore, MD on October 15th and the full Marathon in Disney World on January 9, 2012.  Yeah, the Marathon is a few days past the goal date, but I still think it's ok.  I'm also signed up for a Summer Running Series beginning in July where I will be doing 5k races each Thursday.  I'm doing it as a way to increase my time, but to also surround myself with other runners.

First Bike Ride to Work
 Weight Loss
When the journey first started, the weight was falling off and it was pretty exciting.  As the weight loss slowed down, the momentum to continue loosing sort of decreased as well.  I think the kicker has been that weight loss was not the main focus - totally a benefit - but not the focus.  I wanted to have the ability to do something that I've never done while overcoming fears and road blocks that I've instituted and embraced for myself over the course of my life.
First 10k Completed - Zooma Annapolis

Has this journey been overwhelming, YES.  His this journey been hard, YES.  Has this journey been rough on my body, YES.  Have I wanted to quit and throw in the towel, HECK YES!!!!  But would I trade it in for anything in the world......HEAVENS NO!

I'm embracing this journey for the long hall and whether or not I receive another encouraging word, I will continue on this journey as I'm proving to myself that I am worth it and can accomplish any goal that I set.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Day 348: Tired

Yo, I am still tired.  Like I am exhausted.  It can't be from the race because that was days ago now, but I think I know what's happening:

1.  I got three shots last week, and one of the side effects is tiredness
2.  I'm taking this asthma medicine that says one of the side effects is tiredness
3.  I've been up late working on things that I have put off doing

What does that mean?  Maybe I need to give myself some rest time.  I'm off tomorrow, but need to go into the office for a little while since I didn't finish a few things, but I think after that I'm coming home and sleeping for a few hours.  Maybe that will help restore my energy.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Day 345: Courage vs. Fear

I'm reading a book called, "The Dream Giver" by Bruce Wilkinson and right now I am on a section talking about courage when fear is present to accomplish a task that seems impossible.  Something that leaps off of the page to me is when he says, "courage is not the absence of fear; rather, it's choosing to act in spite of the fear".

Do you know how amazing that statement is?  Even when we feel completely overwhelmed by the fear of a task, the objective is to not let that fear stop you.  I know that this is probably going to be the craziest statement, but I am actually scared of running and exercising and making what I talk about a reality.  But since it is not something that can harm me, I have to run towards it with passion and purpose.  So, in order to overcome this fear, I've got to decide and keep deciding that the fear is not going to hold me anymore.

Take courage and embrace the fear.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Day 344: Today's 10k Victory

Pre-Race - "What have I gotten myself into"
I prayed last night that the Lord would wake me up this morning on time to participate in this race and he honored that request.  I got up with a goal in mind, to complete this 10k race in one hour and thirty minutes, which would have put me at a 15 minute mile – totally doable.  After getting dressed and packing my bags, I did something that was completely odd….I cleaned out the refrigerator.  Who in the world does that before a race?  I was out the house by 4:45am and in Crofton to pick up a friend by 5:10.  We arrived (pretty early) to the race site at 5:30 and I was feeling good! 

Looking around at all the runners created a sense of inferiority to a degree because I don’t look like them (size wise) and I didn’t think that I would be able to keep up with them, but this very nice young lady – Ashley – comes over and strikes up a conversation with us.  It was exactly what I needed to calm down and focus on the mission at hand.

Count down – 5…4…3…2…1, the race started.  Since I was in the 16+minute pace group, it took a while to get to the starting line, but when I did, jogging I went.  Between jogging and walking, I completed the course, but a couple of things happened in the process.

A little after mile three, I yelled to myself , “What in the world are you doing this for Rochelle, this is for the birds, just quit!”  After staying silent for a few moments and really questioning my motives, I said to myself in a very soft but firm voice, “You are doing this because you want to live!  You are doing this because you want to change and this is what it is going to take.  You are doing this because you want your family to be different.  You are doing this because you want your husband and children to know healthy habits all their days.  YOU ARE DOING THIS BECAUSE THIS IS WHAT IT IS GOING TO TAKE!”  And after that moment, I didn’t turn around to see who was behind me, I didn’t try to catch up/over take another runner….I ran MY course!

At mile four, we came to the bridge.  Now this bridge was not like anything I’ve ever seen.  It’s before the Bay Bridge in MD, but because I’ve never walked on a bridge like this, I didn’t know what it was going to take to run up it.  But one of the volunteers said something.  She said, “Don’t let the bridge control you, you control it” and with that I headed up.  I was really tired by this point and I was really questioning how I was going to finish; but, there were a boat load of supporters and smiling faces that made it bearable.  Actually I felt revived and at the turn around point ran up the bridge and back down to the five mile marker.

Post Race - "That's right, I FINISHED"
The supporters on the side of the road really intensified as we got closer to the end, but my energy level was on the decline.  I was ready for this to be done!  As I came up the final hill and see the finish line in sight, I hear my friend yelling “Pick up the pace Rochelle…You can do this Rochelle…Finish strong Rochelle”  I see her and hear her and feel strength that I didn’t think I had and my walk turned to a slight jog.  As I jog and realize that I’m the only one coming to the finish at this moment, the claps and smiles and thumbs up get loader and they’re all for me.  The DJ announces my name and the supporters go into a uproar and my jog turns into a full run (or a run that I could muster up)… I can do this, I can finish strong, I’m making it” is what I was saying.  And guess what, I finished. 

Yesterday was the Race for the Cure 5k in Washington, DC and today was the Zooma 10k in Annapolis, MD.  My final time was 1hr, 48min with a 17.29 pace (not sure of my splits just yet, but that’s ok) and I am super proud of myself.  Oh, take a look at this link, there are race photo's of me and an actual video of me crossing the finish line  (you may have to type in my name)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Day 343: Race for the Cure

Today I did something that was amazing, I did the Race for the Cure 5k in Washington, DC.  I know plenty of people who have done it in the past, and I've wanted to do it, but just never made the commitment to go the distance.  

For the past few days I've gone back and forth on if I was going to jog or walk...I didn't make up my mind until I got on the train with two friends and I decided to walk with them.  Taking the train this morning to get there was one of the best decisions that I could make.  There were so many people....survivors, current breast cancer suffers, families, friends, co-workers, strangers.....people united in the fight.  This was more than just a race to do or something to check off my journey list.  Initially I did it because a friend asked, but Breast Cancer or cancer in general has run ramped in my family.  Before my mom was diagnosed with Leukemia, the doctors thought that she had breast cancer.  I was being nosey by reading through the paper work on the table and looking at her lab results, but what it did was help me connect a little bit more as a teenager with some of the things that she was going through.

Any form of cancer is scary for the person receiving the diagnoses, but it is scary for anyone who cares about the person receiving the news.  For a long time I struggled when I heard that someone had cancer.  It was almost like a death sentence because of my experience.  But today I saw thousands upon thousands of women and men in pink skirts to signify that they are a survivors.  If I could have hugged them all, I would have because they encouraged me so!

During the moments when it was quiet, I missed my mom and although her cancer journey ended, because of my participation and fundraising, someone else's mom won't.  My eyes got teary a couple of times because I realized that there is hope in whatever situation you find yourself in.  We can't give up.  Now I'm off to bed because I have a 10k in the morning!  You praying with me?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Day 322: It FIT!

Earlier this morning I boarded a plane headed to Mexico to spend the next few days in the sun and laying out just to sleep and something awesome happened. Wanna know what it was?

THE SEATBELT FIT- and there was extra belt to spare.

It has been a long time since the seatbelt fit without needing an extender. Man, the shame that comes along with telling the flight attendant that your seatbelt doesn't fit is something that most people have no clue exists, but I know all too well. While I was walking to my seat I was nervous because I just didn't know what was going to happen. The seats seemed extra small as I searched for seat "20C", but when I found it and sat down, I realized it wasn't as small as I thought. The weight loss has slowed up a lot, but I'm still loosing weight. And even if I don't loose one additional pound, I've lost extra negative thoughts about myself which makes me WAY slimmer.

The journey continues.......

Friday, May 6, 2011

Day 314: Slacker?

So I've been doing some thinking - well it really started yesterday while watching "The Biggest Looser" (totally love that show) - and I've come to the conclusion that I do way better when someone is either working out with me or pushing me to workout.  While I was watching TBL, I wanted to get a few push-ups done while the commercial was on (working on my core and upper body strength) and I did 2...... 2

It was like I couldn't push myself to get more done, but if someone else was there I would have probably followed thru on at least 3 (well maybe).  Why is it that some people have the internal drive/motivation to accomplish a task without needing the aid or assistance of others?  Does it make you needy if you need others to accomplish a task/goal?  I'm just letting you in on what's going on in my thoughts right now.

I think the reason I do better when someone is around is because I don't want to look like a goober or slacker in front of other people.  So I put game face on and get the job done.  But when no one is around it's like I don't push as hard and feel like it's ok to take a break.  Does that make me a people pleaser, or a... hum, I don't know the word for it.  Ok, I gotta think about this somemore, what do you think?


Monday, May 2, 2011

Day 310 (Part II): I DID IT

What did I do??  I rode my bike to work!!  I rode it all the way there.  All throughout I was saying inside my head, "Seriously Rochelle, this is too hard.  Just turn around, get your car and drive to work already!" But I didn't do that, I keep pressing forward.

When I got to mile two, I had to fight through and keep peddling through the monstrous hill that crosses over 214, but I kept going.  When I got to mile three, I had to figure out how to cross over 202 with all of the traffic with no real directional sign giving me the right of way and the construction blocking the way.  At mile five I had to tell myself that I'm almost there because the hill that I was trying to get up was beginning to wear me out.  At mile six I felt like I couldn't keep going and I was ready to go home (which was silly because it would have taken more time to go back home verses keep going).

At mile six and a half, something happened.  As I crossed over 495 on a bridge, I was slapped in the face by three separate branches.  It was the craziest thing.  I realized at that moment why cyclist wear sunglasses.  It's not just to keep the sun out, but it's also to protect their eyes.  I will be sure to wear them going forward.  Here are a few photo's of my journey

Photo's of my 'Biking to Work Experience'

Day 310: Scared!

My bag is packed and I just finished a good oatmeal breakfast. I guess it's nothing left to do but do it, right? I'm not going to chicken out or anything because I've talked about it so much (note to self: shut up sometimes!), but I'm definitely feeling butterflies.

It's now or never, here we go. More later!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Day 309: May Begins with a plan

They say that April Showers brings in May Flowers.  For me, May isn't bringing in flowers, it's bringing in intensity, focus, courage and overall determination.  I am less than a month away from a 5k walk (Weight Watchers Walk-It! which is a nationwide walk taking place in every major city) and a little over a month away from the Zooma Annapolis 10k.

Do I feel, no.  Will I be, yes!

This is what I have been working towards.  Have I slacked off, yes.  Have I lost focus, yes.  Have I lost courage, yes.  But I've never lost the desire to complete the task before me.  With that, I have been riding my bike just about daily because tomorrow is the first day of doing something that will take great courage from me.  I am riding my bike to work.  From my house to the office is roughly 6.7 miles.  But before going to the office I will be stopping by the track to have a "Track Date".  I've been talking about it since getting the  bike.  It's a way of training for all of these races, but it's also a way of saving GAS!  Man, gas is getting way to expensive so hopefully getting the confidence to ride to places less than 10 miles away from my house will save me some money.

What will May training include?
 - Workouts with a trainer twice a week
 - Bike 6+ miles three times a week
 - "Track Date" workouts 6 times a week
 - Incorporating a vegetarian food lifestyle  (just for the month to see if it is something that I can do)
 - Gallon of water a day

That's the plan, now it's time to make it happen.

Oh yeah, my hair is cut!  Is it how I expected, "NO!"  I just got more cut because it was too straight on the top.  I was very surprised to find that my hair is way more curly than I thought.  This is a huge transition for me because I've never had to style short hair.  I'll upload some pictures soon, I just gotta feel a little more better about it (that statement was totally not good english).

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Day 291: BIG CHOP Doom

I'm about to do something super scarey....... in less than 24 hours I will be cutting off all of my permed hair.  Now why in the world am I so scared to do something that I am so determined to do at the same time?  Crazy right?  Oh well, tomorrow the world shall see (and me too, huh)?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Day 283: "What Got Me To This Place?"

At the beginning of this journey my friend asked me, "So what got you to this place?"  That was a very direct question that I honestly was not ready to answer at the time.  It has been on my mind at lot lately though.  Answering that question requires me to take a very intense look at why I do what I do.  Am I addicted to food?  I've heard a lot of overweight/obese people say that they are, but I don't think that I am.  I do think that I have an unhealthy relationship with food though. 

stress, joy, tiredness, confusion, celebration, etc.

The list goes on and on of reasons why food has become the main attraction or the tool I use to cope with  the various events in my life.  Unlike drugs or other indulgences, food is something that I've gotta have.... crap, I gotta eat right! 

So how does the relationship change?  How do I go from an unhealthy relationship with food to one that is healthy and balanced?  I think the first step is deciding.  Make a choice to change.  Then, commit my ways/desires to the Lord.  Then (and this is the hard part), I've gotta share my decision with other people.  In sharing with others it creates accountability; of which we all know that I don't like, but totally necessary.  You know what else is necessary?  Education.  If I don't know what healthy is, how can I engage in it? 

Even if my food selections change, I've still got to change the "why" behind why I resort to food.  I have to think about that some more.  Anybody have any suggestions?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Day 282: The Subtle Sabotage

Sabotage is defined as the deliberate destruction; damaging actions; an action taken to undermine or destroy somebody's efforts or achievements.  I have been sabotaged!  Wanna know by who?

ME - Rochelle Juanita Barnes

I have come to the realization that I have sabotaged my own efforts over the past few weeks and months.  Yeah, I've been making some positive strides by exercising and watching what I eat, but something bigger than those two things dictate either our success or failure.  Wanna know what is the big determining factor in how successful we are in anything we do?  It's our thought life!  How we think about a matter trumps all feeling and truth.  I have dreaded going to boot camp because in my mind I look like the fat fatty who can't keep up with everyone else.  There haven't been any early morning Track Dates because I hate looking like the big engine that couldn't.  So these thoughts have controlled my actions.  Instead of working out in the morning, I stay sleep and wonder why I can't get up ontime for anything or instead of leaving work on time, I stay late so that I can't workout because the gym is closed.

How do you change your thoughts?  By doing just that, change them.  We have a choice in what we believe and embrace as truth. 

Current Thought: I am still a fat fatty    
Renewed Thought: Everyone has to start somewhere.  Start and keep starting

Current Thought: I have to modify every exercise so that I can do it
Renewed Thought: Modified or not, I'm still exercising.  Keep modifing until it's not necessary

Along with our thought life, fear plays a HUGH role in how successful we are.  Fear of doing well (or success) keeps me where I am and aids in me never achieving an attainable goal.  I'm grateful because I have hope.  My hope isn't in what I have the ability to do on my own, but my hope rests on the fact that through Christ I have the ability to do whatever is necessary to change the scope of my physical fitness.  With a renewed focus on each day, today I know that I have the ability to succeed at this marathon journey.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Day 275: Track Date as mood shifter

I wanted to go to the gym today after I get off work, but I don't think that I'm going to go.  You know what may help with my "funk"?  A Track Date.  A time to let my feet hit the one with the elements.  Breath the fresh cool air!  I'm going to leave work on time (maybe even early), drive my car home, change my clothes and walk/jog to the track, go around a few times and come back home. 

Did you know that exercise helps with our mood?  Maybe it will help with mine today.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Day 274: Stinking Thinking

I embraced it!  Today has been a day full of stinking thinking.  I've embraced the negative thoughts and emotions that we all have but have allowed them to run ramped in my mind.  There is a big difference between truth and lies.  Most time our stinking thinking is either full of lies, or it's truth with a tainted view point.  The bad part is I don't have to stay here, but I choose too.

How do you get out of this place?  Embrace the truth about the situation.  If you don't know the truth, then you have to ask, seek and then you'll find what the real deal is.  Today can be better.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Day 272: How many miles?

So I overslept again today.  I didn't wake up until 9:30am and I actually went to bed a decent hour.  My hours are a little different today because I have to work and support a Kirk Franklin Concert that we are having at the Worship Center.  I'm going to wear my running shoes and Nike+ Sports band to see how many miles I end up walking tonight.  It should be pretty interesting.  How many miles do you think it will end up being?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day 271: Pretty Good Day!

Today did not start out how I wanted it to.  I overslept by 4 hours and was totally behind on my mornings activities, but now looking at everything, today has been a great day.  I was able to put all of my taxes information together and get the information to the preparer.  I was able to plan a few fundraising activities to raise support for my Ghana Missions Trip.  The big news is that I got my bike today.  Well, not literally, but the process has begun.  I went to the store, was sized, picked out the color and paid a portion.  Once I pay the remaining balance it will be all mine.  I was able to spend time with my baby sister and nephew and still minister at Queen Esther tonight.  All in all, today is been a great day (I feel a little guilty for not working out today though, but I'll get over it).  Now it’s time for bed so that I can get up for Boot Camp in the early am.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Day 270: Self Encouragement Day

Nothing much to talk about today other than "I am a runner!"  Doesn't look like it or feel like it, but I am.  Today is a day that I have to encourage my own self cause I was a little down in the dumps.  I overslept and missed Boot Camp and because of the course of todays events didn't make it to the gym this evening.  Tomorrow is a new day and that's it.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day 269: Super Fantastic Fun

This morning I made it, I made it to boot camp.  I actually woke up, got up and made my way there, tired and all.  Today we did more running than yesterday and while I walked (as everyone else ran around like speedy rabbits) I thought and thought somemore.  I said, "Rochelle, why in the world do some people think that this is fun?  This is work....wait, it's HARD work and I'm not having a 'Fun' time doing this".  Fun is based on an individuals perspective.  Let's be honest, it's not that fun for me because I'm not good at it and I feel like I look like a big goober trying to become good/better.

But, with anything we do, if we never broadened our perspectives on a matter we, we remain narrow minded individuals.  How can running become more fun for me?  That is the question for the evening.  Anybody have any replies?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Day 268: Discipline

“What’s required from a person in order to be come disciplined in an area of their life?”  That’s a question that I have been asking myself for the past couple of days as I think about working out to be prepared for these races.  What’s required from me in order to accomplish the goals that I have clearly layout.

Hummmm, I think creating a plan and walking out the established plan is required.  Not allowing my actions to be dictated based on how I may physically feel, but doing what’s required regardless of feelings.  Talking about the goal and allowing people to help me (which I don’t do the best at).  Oh yeah, discipline requires ACCOUNTABILITY!  Accountability means you check in with someone and they check in with you.  It means you’re honest and someone is honest with you as you get closer to the overall goal.  I think being consistent with training and preparing for these races will mean getting up for boot camp in the morning even when I’m still sleepy.  It means working out after work even when it’s been a long day and all I want to do is watch TV and sleep.  

I went to boot camp this morning and it was HARD.  I wanted to go to Track Date afterwards, but it started thundering and lightening really badly, so I came home, ate breakfast and took an am nap.  I have a plan, but I’m taking everyday one day at a time.  Oh yeah, I have a new rule, no eating after 8pm.  That is like stupid early for me, but I figured that if I plan out my meals, I can do it.  It should help me drop weight too.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Day 264: Great Day

My blogging patter has been inconsistent over the past few months, but I have so much that I want/need to say.

Today, Thursday, March 17th has been fantastic.  I think that it will be memorial for a couple of reasons:
1.  I had to go to the post office to apply for a US Passport and something amazing happened.  A lady, who was up in age, dropped her keys.  In instinctively reached down to pick them up, but she got to them first.  I proceeded on with whatever I was thinking about until I finished doing what I had to do.  When I left the Post Office she met me outside and told me that she appreciated my kindness (I was sort of shocked because I didn’t think that I did anything spectacular for her).  She said to keep doing what I do and God honors me because of it.  She doesn’t know it, but it is just what I needed to hear because I was questioning how I serve and how I give to others.  Do I go overboard, am I excessive and is it even appreciated.  So, needless to say, I’ll keep being me!

2.  I went through all of my clothes a few weeks ago and packed a bag of things that are too big for me now.  But, that same bag of clothes is sitting in my room next to my dresser.  There are actually more clothes that I need to add to the bag, or start a new bag, but I haven’t because I’ve been too afraid to let it go.  What if I need them again?  What if my weight loss is a fluke and I gain even more than I’ve lost?  Donating the clothes, or removing them from my house, makes my weight loss more permanent and that is SCARY.  In one of my conversations with God I said that I would get rid of the clothes when I could afford new ones.  How about today my prayer was answered, but not the way that I thought it was going to be.  Yeah, I still can’t afford new clothes, but a friend (who is loosing weight herself) passed clothes onto me that she can’t fit anymore.  I have been blessed beyond blessed today with new clothes to wear that will fit my slimmer body.  I heard that Providence Hospital has a program where they pass plus sized clothes down to individuals who need them at no cost.  Tomorrows objective – call Providence Hospital to finally donated the clothes that no longer fit me.

3.  Yesterday I did it.  I signed up for the 10k (6.2 miles) and the Half Marathon (13.1 miles).  After I did it, I experienced mixed emotions.  I was excited, scared, determined, defeated and rejuvenated all at the same time.  It’s weird though.  I said that I was going to do this this year and despite all of the odds, I’m still working towards the goal.  Granted, I have not worked nearly as hard as I was in the beginning of this journey; but, my dad constantly reminds me that it’s not how you start, but how you finish.  When I’m having a sad sack moment, he will say, “finish strong Rochelle, finish strong”.  

The 10k is taking place on Sunday, June 5, 2011 in Annapolis, MD.  It is the Zooma race that leads participants through historic Annapolis.  The Half Marathon is on Saturday, October 15, 2011 in Baltimore, MD sponsored by Under Armour.  Intense 2adays shall commence Sunday, March 20, 2011.  No excuses are acceptable as excuses do not lead you to the finish line.

4.  I am going on a missionary trip!  I turned in all of my paperwork and will be going to Ghana, West Africa this coming July 20, 2011 through August 5, 2011.  I am extremely excited.  Here’s the kicker….I have to raise $3,500 by May 1st.  That is not a little bit of money to fundraise.  I’ll do it though, because I don’t want to waste the money that I’ve already put down to go.

If you’ve taken the time to read everything highlighted above, do you see why today has been an unforgettable one?  You are officially apart of Rochelle Land.  How can we partner together to accomplish the above tasks?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Day 258: Seriously, what's running!?

I am TOTALLY behind on my goals that I made for this year.  By this time I was supposed to be running 6 miles non-stop - but I am very far from that goal and or idea.  Today is March 1, 2011 and I think that I'm ready again to get back on track.

I had to get a pair of new shoes because I had a pair of Brook's Running Shoes, but I didn't like the way that they felt.  I tried to break them in and just get used to the feel of them, but it didn't work.  So I went back to the tried and true Nike's that provide the necessary support for my foot that overpronates.  I also just purchased this Polar WearLink+ Transmitter Nike+  that will monitor my heart as I work out.  I felt it was a good investment because my family has a history of heart related issues and I've been struggling with my asthma over the past few weeks; so this will tell me what's going on on the inside of my body while I work on the outside.

Do you even know what running is?  It is technically classified as moving at any pace faster than a walk.  If both feet are off the ground at any moment while your moving, then your running.  And do you know the A number one rule to running/training is?  It's - HAVE FUN!  Although it's work and requires a lot of commitment, your supposed to have fun in the process.  Here is my question - how is running supposed to be fun?  Do you think I'm doing this wrong?  LOL

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Day 239: Time to Decide!

I had to ask myself a question yesterday, "Seriously Rochelle, what are you doing?  Either your going to do this or your not.  It's time to make up your mind and stick to it regardless of how you feel at different times!"  This dialogue was necessary because slacking is an understatement to what I've been doing.  No boot camp in the early morning, no healthy meals throughout the course of the day, no gallon of water per day, no evening classes, no track date, no jump roping, no NOTHING!  I have been doing absolutely nothing.

The Answer: Let's do this!
I went to Body Pump tonight and I thought that Tiffany was going to kill me!  It was a great indicator that I've got a LLLOOOOONNNNNGGGGGG way to go to become physically fit.  Man, I can't wait for the day to come when the person I see on the inside is the same person that everyone else see's on the outside, I just can't wait!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Day 228: Enjoy Yourself

Within a few hours, January will be over and February will begin.  January has been a month of LONG days & night.  A month of great celebrations and tragic defeats.  January brough a new age (33), road trips up and tomorrow I will be on the Martha Stewart Show (excited beyond words).  I decided to stop getting perms and just see where that road leads for a little while.  School started again and work has been non-stop.  Exercise has been extremely limited because I've been trying to balance "life".  Some days I do well and then other days I don't. 

I'm excited about February because I've gotten into a rythum at work, school is school, emotionally I'm starting to deal with things that I've kept buried within the recesses of my heart and exercising will commence once again.  Please let's not get it twisted though - this is HARD & TOUGH!!

I've started reading this book called, "The Runner's Rule Book" by Mark Remy and you know what Rule #1 is?  Have fun.  That's not limited to just running, that can be applied to every area of our life.  Anything that we are engaged in, have fun.  If you have to do it, you might as well enjoy the process, right?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Day 210: I'm proud of me!

Do you walk differently after you work out really well?  Man, today I worked out with this trainer and we used these weight machines that I have never used and it was AWESOME!  I was so proud of myself because I did these leg lift things that I never thought I would have been able to do.  It was great because that was another check in the column with the heading "You Can Do This".   While walking out of the gym, my head was high, my walk strong and my face had a grin.  Granted, I'm still big, but the idea that because I'm big means I can't do things is slowly fading and that's a wonderful feeling.

With today being "Birthday Eve" and tomorrow is the big day, I'm forced to carefully look at my life where I am and carefully examine the direction of my life.  I must admit that I'm pretty excited about where I going.  The sky isn't the limit as the possibilities are endless.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Day 202:

The Bible says, "As a man thinketh, so is he".  If you think your a looser, then you'll be a looser.  If you think your a failure, then you'll fail at the things that you do.  If you think your a screw-up, then all you'll do is screw-up.

I say all of that to say, we've got to watch our thoughts.  This morning I didn't get up and go to boot camp because I was "sleepy".  I wasn't that sleepy to get up and go, I just didn't want to.  So because I didn't go this morning, I knew that I had to go to the gym tonight......and boy did I.  I did two different elliptical machines and then I went for the treadmill.  I planned on starting like I normally do with the setting on 3.6 to walk for .50 miles and then increase to my jog for 1.25 miles and then either push harder or maintain a consistent pace.  But boy was I kidding myself.  I got on that treadmill at 3.5 and felt like I was going to fall off.  It was going so fast!!  I slowed it down to a reasonable pace and guess what that was.........2.3!  2.3!!!

I really said to myself, "What in world is going on here?  Is this machine faster?  I know that it has been like 2 weeks since I've jogged, but seriously?"  I eventually increased the speed, but it took me an hour to do 2 miles.  TWO MILES!  Needless to say, my thoughts were all over the place while I was on the treadmill.  I really questioned the goals that I've established for the year since I couldn't jog one tenth of a mile.  But, that is the value in watching your thought process.  I told myself in the car, "Rochelle, calm down and be consistent.  You'll get there, just be consistent."  With that I say Good Night world because I have boot camp really early in the am.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Day 201: Week 29 & A New Year

It's been almost a month since my last post and honestly not a lot has happened in this voyage, but I'm excited because......"THIS IS THE YEAR"!

THIS Year, I'm running a 10k
THIS Year, I'm running a Half Marathon (13.1 miles)
THIS Year, I'm running a Full Marathon (26.2 miles)
THIS Year, I'm running a 5k race in less than 30 minutes for the SOME Turkey Trot

I'm actually pretty excited about it honestly.  A couple of weeks ago, I spent maybe a week thinking and writing out the goals that I have for this year because without a plan, no goal will materialize in my opinion.  Although January is a great time to examine current behaviors and figure out ways of changing it, change does not have to be limited to January 1st or 2nd, it can be anytime.  So...this year is all about discipline.

Discipline is defined as the state of improved behavior resulting from training or conditioning.  There are behaviors and thoughts I want to change in my life and that will only happen with consistency (even when I don't feel like being consistent), accountability (this blog is a major helper) and just doing what I say I'm going to do.  The routine is pretty straight forward actually; boot camp & Track Date every morning and then the gym in the evening every other day.

This is the year to do something that I've never done.  I can't quit even if/when I want to because I'm not a quitter and I can't compare myself to someone else because no one else is me and have walked in my shoes.  What about you, are you going to do something this year that you've never done?