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?