Guest Post: Journey of a Dreamer

5 miles
Slow introduction of modified speed work
Miraculous Treadmill Miles

It’s freaking hot outside.  And my A/C is broken which means my mojo has evaporated away in the heat (#firstworldproblems) so I’m super happy to have a guest post today from a super fabulous lady I’ve gotten to know via the power of the interwebz.  She’s a total rock star and inspiration.  I hope you enjoy her post!  Oh and this crazy cat let me actually write on her blog so check it out at here.

Hello to all you Striding Mom fans! My name is Courtney and I blog over at Journey Of A Dreamer.

I blog about running, CrossFit, and my journey to lose weight. I’m a fellow Sweat Pink Ambassador of Sheila’s. Today we are swapping blogs!

To be honest, I’m a bit intimidated to be guest posting here at Striding Mom. After reading just a few of her posts I had to walk away from the computer to keep myself from peeing my pants laughing. She is hilarious! I don’t know that I can be anywhere near as funny as she is, but I’ll try to be half as entertaining. 

We all have things in our life that we aren’t proud of. Luckily, I’m not here to talk about any of those with you. I wanted to share one of my proudest achievements and what it took to me there (aka- let me brag for a minute about how awesome I am…)

A little background on myself: I have always been overweight and avoided exercise like the plague until after giving birth to my baby girl over 2 years ago. I started “running” (a term I use loosely at the pace I was going) a few months after she was born. I had run before but mostly because I had to, not because I enjoyed it. Something clicked this time and I loved running. I joked that someday I would run a marathon, and if I was going to run 26.2 miles I was going to do it on the happiest place on earth: Disney World!

After joking about it for awhile while talking to my husband one day the joking turned serious. Even though I hadn’t ever run more than 6 miles, in June 2011 I signed up to run the 2012 Walt Disney World Marathon. I trained for 6 months. I went for long runs in the dead of winter. I ran, I sweat, I froze, I cried (a lot). One of my long runs left me sitting on the side of the road in tears wondering why I, at over 200lbs was even attempting to run a marathon. After my pity party I got back up and finished the rest of my run. I was determined.

Fast forward to Race Day. I was scared out of my mind. The weather was warm, my stomach was in knots, and I had to pee like every 30 seconds from drinking so much water.

I started out strong, filled with adrenaline, and determined to finish. For every person that ever told me I couldn’t. Plus- I was at Disney World! So I was having a blast! Running through Cinderella’s Castle at Magic Kingdom was amazing.

While I wish I had some awesome triumphant finish line story to share with you as my proudest achievement, I don’t.

After mile 21 I was the first person they stopped due to time cut off. The person in front of me by a few seconds got to keep going. Myself, and everyone behind me, got put on buses and taken to the finish line about 4.5 miles away. While I struggled with it at first, I decided that I would still look at this race as my proudest achievement.

As a 200+lb female who avoided running the majority of my life I had the courage to dream big. I signed up and ran in a MARATHON. I may not be happy with the results, but I am proud of the journey I took to even get to that starting line. I learned a lot about racing AND about myself and what I am capable of. And mark my words… I will go back to Disney and Finish that race someday.

They still gave me a medal and heck yeah I kept it!

 What is your proudest achievement and what did it take to get you there?

The Runterview: Meet Tiffany Henness

14 miles
Brazen Back Bay Strides

Back Bay – where running 10-20 miles on a Saturday is totally normal. Source

On Saturday I hit up the Back Bay to do a little running.  I kicked off the run by meeting up with Tiffany of Running Hutch and a fellow Sweat Pink Fit Approach ambassador.  It’s always interesting getting to know someone online then meeting in person, and I have to admit, Tiffany was one of the sweetest people – which is an added bonus since I can be a little rough on the edges!

All that, and we found out we have a ton in common, so I am most definitely looking forward to more runs (maybe some races!) with her.  She’s a budding Crossfit guru and an adult onset athlete so hearing her “fitness story” was fabulous!

We opted to do a “Runterview” (How cute eh?  Her word and from what the Google tells me, the first of it’s kind).  Here’s more about this heavy medal pursing rock star of an athlete…

Tiffany & I rocking the Back Bay early Saturday. She’s cute and I’m all awkward and gangly – yet again…

If you were a yoga pose what would you be & why? Happy Baby. Some people may think I look silly but I don’t care. It feels good.

Most embarrassing race moment: Not sure. Probably being passed by an 84 year old at mile 22 of my first marathon (I had chatted with and passed him at mile 13 and didn’t expect to see him again – doh).

Best email from a reader : It wasn’t an e-mail but I got a shout out from another blogger about how I help to give her motivation. I read that and it was huge for me.

Craziest thing you’ve run with stuffed into your pants/sports bra: I run pretty light but I’ll put whatever wherever if I quickly need to shuffle things around (phone, gels, flip camera, hat). I did put trail trash in my waistband once so I could carry it off the trails. It was some energy packets from other runners and it was icky sticky.

What percentage of your wardrobe is spandex/technical material? I have tech t’s from races coming out my ears. Surprisingly, my spandex collection is lacking. :-( But run/workout gear is definitely about 50% of the clothing I own.

Celebrity/athletic doppledanger: Kristi Yamaguchi – or so I’ve been told.

What’s your super secret hidden talent? I can often remember the weirdest details, like what someone was wearing the last time we went bowling with them. Sometimes people think I’m stalkerish [I most definitely didn’t get a stalkerish vibe whatsoever ;) ] because I’ll remember specific things they’ve said, like what they’re favorite drink at Starbucks is, and they won’t even remember they shared that information. I swear I’m not creepy. I just pay attention. Oh, and I can still do the splits.

Wanna read more about Tiffany?  I know I love following her!  Catch her on Twitter, her blog or check out her Fit Approach Sweat Pink Ambassador page.

Oh, and did you see the stark white full moon on Saturday morning in the Back Bay?  I spent 5 miles hauling it to the port-a-potty that is USUALLY there only to find it gone.  So let’s just say there are some really well watered bushes over there.  My first mid-run, public trou-dropping.

I may or may not have emerged from the bushes a hot tangled mess of Aspaeris Pivot shorts and sweat trying to straighten my pants out only making my…err…service to nature only more obvious.  Awesome.

My Thoughts On Pink

Weekend Workouts:
13 miles running
8 miles biking
Monday = Rest/Yoga Day
Finally Progressing Strides

If you ever see me in real life you’ll realize a few things real quick:

A: I am as awkward and gangly in real life as the pictures would lead you to believe.

B:  I love to dress like a wallflower.  Yes, I love my workout clothes, but if I’m in “regular clothes” it’s guaranteed to be black and white.  Ask me to put on a colored item of clothing, and I’ll likely come back wearing gray.

Seeing the world through multi-colored glasses one day at a time.

It is a very adventurous life I lead.

Which brings me to my running clothes.  Vanilla doesn’t just dream in color, he dreams in rainbows.  His entire world is a vision glittering with colors, sparkles and dreams.  I am pretty sure when he farts it comes out in colored smoke. He’s an artist, a dreamer and sometimes I question how our DNA is the same.  But I digress.

And, yes,  I let him pick out my running clothes.

So needless to say, it’s pretty bright and is now mostly pink due to his affinity for the color.  This is only fitting since this weekend I found out I am a Fit Approach Sweat Pink Ambassador.

It’s a great organization seeking to build an online and “in real life” fitness community for women.  I love the end of their mission:

We’re committed to finding our best fit, and making it stick.

How do we get there?
We climb.
We journey.
We balance.
We reward.

What does this mean?  I get to continue sharing my story and networking with other women who are committed to a lifestyle that embraces balance, journey, challenge and fitness.  In addition, I get to get some pretty awesome swag that I will certainly start handing out to you.

So don’t be surprised when you see my mom and I sporting our bright pink shoelaces in two weeks at the iTryathlon.  And stay tuned as the FitApproach journey continues….

In order to celebrate, Vanilla coordinated a photo shoot including wardrobe and staging the photos.  Here are the results….

I was directed to look like I was starting a race so I just stood there, he then told me to get into this position. Poor thing thinks I’m a sprinter.

His self-selected running pose. Note the contrasting blue wardrobe (to my pink) which was totally coordinated.

And finally, I wouldn’t be half the person I am without these three amazing human beings. I also wouldn’t be half as loud.