Saturday, November 13, 2010

What a gorgeous day, and a glorious run!

I think I'm finally back into the game, folks!! After running my half marathon in September, I have basically been out of commission when it comes to my running because of my knees. I tried resting them, but that didn't do enough to help me get back on my feet and running again.

Finally, after talking with several coworkers, I decided to bite the bullet and new running shoes. I've had my old ones for about 6 or 7 months now probably, so I was pretty overdue on some new ones. I also got a knee brace, and I talked with a coworker's husband (he's a doctor) about some exercises I can do to strengthen and help heal my knees (he told me I most likely have runner's knee). Sooo...coupled with all of those things, I think my knees are finally better!!!!...or at least on the mend. :)

I went running this morning, and it was GREAT! I ran 5.23 miles, and I felt like I could run more. I stopped mainly because I was coming to the part in my route that has tons of hills, and I don't want to overdo it with hills in fear of overworking my knees too soon. So, I went for 5.23 miles and decided to walk the rest (probably about another mile). I'll be stretching soon and will probably ice my knees a little since that's what the doctor ordered - I just wanted to post my excitement first. :)

Now to figure out a plan to get me up to a marathon distance by January! :)

I took this picture on my run today. I absolutely love how sunlight dances through the gorgeous-colored leaves during fall. Just wish pictures truly displayed this beauty!


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Paint the Moon's Giveaway

I'm entering an amaaaazing giveaway on a great blog, and I thought I would share!!

Visit to see what "The Incredible Giveaway" is all about!!! Paint the Moon offers many "Actions" and "Textures" you can use in Photoshop to edit pictures. I love her products and can't wait to start using them!!!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Since I’ve been gone….

Well, it has been way too long since I have updated my running blog, and I must say – I haven’t been doing too terribly great with my running training.  I am running a full marathon in a little over 2 months, and I’m not ready for it one bit.  I put together a training schedule that will start on Monday.  I can’t wait to get going with the new schedule – I just can’t get myself to run until then for some reason.  bah.

Since I updated last, I ran my half marathon (Sept. 18, 2010 – 16.1 miles)!!  This was two days before my 25 birthday, and I think it was a fun fun way to ring in my 1/4 century year.  The race went well.  Mom, my cousin Cindy, and I went to Ashville, NC, and stayed Friday night so that I could run on Saturday.  It was a bit rough because of the monstrous hills all over Ashville, but I had fun!!  I walked up the hills, ran the rest of the course, and finished in about 2hr 34min.  Not too bad for walking a lot of it!!  :)

i did it

After half marathon – still smiling for some strange reason! ;)

Since my last update, I also ran in the annual 5k for Breast Cancer.  This was a pretty touching race as many of the people ran with loved ones’ names on their backs – either in memory of or in celebration of.  The ones that read, “I’m running in memory of my mom.” or the like completely broke my heart.

Mrs. Rita

After the Breast Cancer race - I ran in memory of Mrs. Rita. 

Mrs. Rita was my Sunday School teacher for many years (high school and college), and she was also a youth worker all through my high school years.  She was always full of wisdom, laughs, and was an amazing prayer warrior.  

I can tell you the 9 Fruits of the Spirit because of a challenge Mrs. Rita gave us one year in Sunday School – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

And even now, when I get hungry late at night, I always remember her bit of wisdom that she shared many nights on youth trips:  If you get hungry late at night, you need to just go to bed.

Mrs. Rita didn’t let her cancer deter her from believing God’s word.  She knew full well that God would heal her, and although He didn’t heal her in the way we wanted, she is now completely healed and cancer free!  Woo!!

As I said, I’m running a full marathon in January.  It will be the annual Walt Disney World Marathon in Florida, and I can’t wait!!!  Throughout my training, I have been raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

It hasn’t been easy.  Out of the $2,900 that I have to raise before my race, I’ve raised a little over $1,000 of it.  Quite a bit left to raise!!  Please take a moment to visit my fundraising website - – so that you can read my running story and possibly donate towards my run as well!!

Through your donation, you’ll be helping the LLS supply money for researchers working to cure blood cancers, provide encouraging services to blood cancer patients, and educate the public about these diseases.  I can’t raise the $2,900 without you!!



Monday, August 30, 2010

running is a psychological sport

Well, first, I wanted to post the link to my LLS fund raising website. Please take a look and consider a donation! Even just $20 would go a long way in helping to find a cure and support blood cancer patients!!

Okay, now back to the psychological side of running. I've been quickly increasing my mileage to cram for my half marathon that's just two weekends away from this coming weekend (EEK!!). Today, I did 6mi, and it went pretty well - except for the part that took me into the woods for a quick potty stop. I know, I'm crazy and ridiculous, but there's no way I could have kept going! lol

Anyhoo, back to my point. The route that I run is roughly about 3mi, so increasing my mileage is a bit tough sometimes whenever I have to run it twice. My mind focuses on the fact that I have 5 more hills to run, or I have 3 more streets to turn down. I get distracted away from my running and start thinking about how far is left based on the route. So, to help with this, I've started running new roads in the neighborhood that I run in. This helps so much, and I'm finding myself flying through my runs (mentally - they still take the same amount of time lol) without having to remind myself to focus on my running. It's crazy how much running down a new run makes me feel like my run is going faster than if I had gone the original route. Whatever works though!! :D

Don't forget to check out my LLS fund raising website - - to find out why I'm training for the Disney Marathon! You can also donate directly on the website! Super simple! :D

Happy running, friends.

From my latest 5k race - Rock N Run in Charlotte, NC.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Welcome back ... and some exciting news!

Welcome back, running legs. Oh how I have missed thee. Our runs lately have been a great stress release, and I can't wait to run with you again. Tomorrow morning, shall we?


I went for a 4.75mi run today, and it was great...but my Nike+ didn't log it for some reason. I'm so sad about this!!! Yes, I know that I went running, but I want my Nike+ to know too so that it can put it in the challenges I joined and towards my next distance level on the website. Sad times.

On another note - I'm about to start another great adventure!! :D I received a flier in the mail about the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's training program called Team In Training (TNT). In a nutshell, they train you to participate in some sort of event (half or full marathon, triathlon, bike race, etc.) in exchange for you raising money for the society (with which they fund blood cancer research, aid to blood cancer patients, and many other things).

I went to an informational meeting last night about it, and I am SO extremely pumped!!! I've decided to train for the Walt Disney World Full Marathon, which is the first full weekend of January. We'll run our full marathon that Sunday, and it will take us through the park. We'll apparently be approaching the finish line with the Disney characters!! I can't wait - it sounds like such a great time!!

As part of the TNT program, our training team will meet on Tuesday nights to discuss the mechanics of running - running form, gear, and fueling yourself for runs. We'll then meet early Saturday mornings to increase our mileage. They'll also give us a schedule to follow on the in between days with runs and cross training days in there. Such a great chance for encouragement and some one-on-one training!! I cannot wait! I've always wanted to at least talk with a running coach, and this opportunity will have me working with one twice a week! WOO!!

One of the neat things about this program is that it definitely puts a purpose behind your running. I won't be running to just finish the race or prove something to myself and my body, I'll be running to help blood cancer research and cures. Our team will be partnered with a blood cancer patient, and we'll build a friendship with this person as we learn about their disease, treatment, and struggles they face. For myself, I'll have my uncle in mind. Although he did not suffer from a blood cancer, he did have a form of cancer that quickly took his life. Watching him (and my aunt & cousin) go through his treatments and life-altering procedures completely changed my own life and my perspective on life. I can't imagine how it is to be the person going through it. For these people, I will run.

As I said in the first part of this novel, the TNT program trains us to run in exchange for fund raising moneys. So, as a participant in this program, I will work towards a fund raising goal of $3,500. 75% of this money will go directly towards blood cancer research/patient outreach, and the remaining 25% will be used to fund my flight tickets, hotel stay, event registration, and some of my meals. I do not have my fund raising website set up yet (it will be done for me by the TNT people), but once I do, I will post the link be checking back to find out how you can help send me to Disney and help find a cure for blood cancers!!

Okay - so, I do believe that I am done with my novel. I've been wanting to post about this new adventure that I'll be embarking on, but I didn't want to do so until after the informational meeting. :) Let me know what you think!! And don't forget to check back for more progress reports. I do believe I'm back in the great game of running.


Sunday, July 4, 2010


Sometimes, you get into these slums of life. I feel like I'm in one of those right now, and it doesn't help that I haven't had a good run in over 2 weeks now.

Hopefully tomorrow will be the day.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

6 miles - woo!! (W1D3 done)

My 5mi run on Wednesday turned into 4mi, and my 6mi run yesterday turned into only about 1mi. The heat has REALLY gotten to me!! But, today was a new day, and I made my 6mi run!!! Of course, I did it at 8:30PM since it wasn't too hot outside at that time. It actually felt nice to be running, and I loved it.

Of course, since it was getting dark outside, the little critters were all starting to come out for the evening. I ran into countless bugs, had one up my nose and one in my mouth at some point. I jumped a few feet in the air twice when I ran across some frogs hopping across the road. But, the best part of my run (not those those things were necessarily good...just memorable!) was at the beginning. When I headed out, the sky was a GORGEOUS pink color as the sun was setting. If you know anything about me, you'd know that I love love pink, and this pink was of no exception! It was even better since God created that hue right there in the sky...never again to be created or seen. I tried taking a picture of it while I was running, but it didn't quite turn out....since I was running, of course. lol

Okay. I'm done rambling!! All in all, aside from the bugs and frogs, I had a marvelous run tonight!! I did 6mi in about 1hr 2min. And, I'm now officially done with Week1 of my half-marathon training.

Maybe I'm getting closer to being a Road Runner. *meep meep!*


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Half Training W1D2

Today had a 5mi run on the schedule, so off I went around 10:00 this morning to get it checked off my list.

Ugg. I gave up after mile 4. It was so extremely hot, even at just 10:00, that I couldn't go any further. I even stopped my Nike+ workout, walked towards my car some, and decided that I was ridiculous and just needed to finish the 5mi workout I had planned. So, I started my Nike+ on a 1mi workout, went about a tenth of the mile, and stopped running again. I felt like a complete failure, but I just couldn't do it. It was so extremely hot.

Moral of the story? I mean, I have to learn something from this, right? I'll definitely be out of the house and running by 9:00 from now on. I can't handle running in that extreme heat!

Tomorrow and Friday are both rest days, but Saturday holds my long run. This week's long run is 6mi. I'll be heading out for that around 8:30 or 9:00 hopefully. I'll let you know how that goes.

Happy running!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Half Training, W1D1

Week 1, Day 1 of my half training is now complete! My schedule said to do an easy run of 2 miles, so off I went this morning!! I tried to get out of the house before it got too hot, which I did. I ran my 2 miles in about 19 minutes and some odd seconds. I can't remember exactly, and I haven't uploaded my run to Nike+ yet. Tomorrow is a rest rest I will!

Not much to report. It was a good run. Hopefully with many more to come!

I took the plunge!

I did it. No more excuses and no more putting it off.

What did I do? I put together a fresh training schedule for a half marathon, and I also signed up for it!!! I'll be running the Ashville Living Well half-marathon on September 18, which is 2 days before my 25th birthday. Woohoo!! It'll be a fun way to ring in my birthday, right? I sure hope so! :)

The half-marathon description says that it's a "challenging course." Eek! Not only will I be running 13 miles, but it'll be a challenging course as well?! Have I gone completely insane? One may believe so!

I was hoping to attach my training program to this post, but I can't quite figure that out yet. Maybe I'll work on that and get it up soon!

Anyhoo - I just wanted to do a quick post to say that I've taken the plunge finally. I start my training tomorrow with an easy run of 2mi (who ever thought that would be an easy run?). I'll let you know how it goes! :D

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Running for Ronald

There is a Ronald McDonald House opening in Charlotte, NC, soon. To help raise money for the house, they did a 5k run at a local park. Several teachers at work are pretty passionate about these houses, so they put together a team to run (or walk) the race, and off we went! There were 7 of us - 5 of us ran, and 2 (that were pushing precious cargo in strollers) walked. It was a great race!!

We ran a cross country sort of course - through the woods (on a trail, of course), up a huge killer hill, around a lake, past the finish line, around the lake again after more woods, and then finally through the finish line. Confused yet? Well, it was a bit confusing actually! So much so that after I crossed the finish line, one of the teachers came up to me and said she didn't think she really finished it. Woops!! She accidentally ran straight through the finish instead of looping around the lake to finish off the 5km (which was actually about 5.5km, I think). So, off we went! I finished it with her, and it felt great! She did a marvelous job, as did the other teachers that were there running and walking it!! Great job, ladies! :D

Here are a couple pictures from the run:

Ronald was a really nice guy!! He called himself my husband as we were doing our group picture (see below)...but I'm not too sure about that.

I should have cropped this one, but I'm a little lazy tonight! These are the teachers that ran the race today. They all did a great job!!! I think they've all (except one maybe?) just recently started running, which they're totally rocking!

I haven't done that great of a job of keeping my blog updated. I hope to get better at this pronto! Happy running, everyone! :)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

10k race done!

I ran my first 10k today!!! I did it in 1:02:50 (give or take some seconds). It was a little different just because it's the first run that I've gone to alone. My parents are extremely supportive of my running, and they always come to my runs, but they were both busy today. So, I went by myself. I ended up safety pinning my car key to the inside of my sports bra (sorry, guys) so I wouldn't have to hold it while I ran. Surprisingly, that was a perfect solution. I'll have to take more trips to the park to run now that I know what to do with my car key.

I was a little numb (emotionally) at the beginning of the run. I kept having to remind myself that I was running a 10k, not a 5k, and that I could in fact complete the whole distance running. "10k" became my mantra as I ran, and I just recited it over and over in my head throughout the race. That seemed to help somehow. I finished strong and was pretty surprised by my time since I thought I was pretty pokey during the whole thing. I brought up the rear with the last 50 people running the 10k, but that's alright! I did it. :)

The cool thing about this program and me doing it, so many people have asked me about how I've done it and how they can start. It's such a great way to motivate people and encourage them. So, that's worth everything to know that I've inspired some people somehow!!

Happy running, friends. :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

On the road again...

--Just can't wait to get on the road again!--

That was my mantra today as I thought about my afternoon run. And then it hit me - the sleepiness of all sleepinesses (nice, eh?). I haven't figured out yet how to get a great night's sleep again, so the past several weeks...which have been crazy busy anyways...have been pretty sleepless a lot of nights. So, I decided that I was "too tired" to go running.

Then...I decided that my too common "too tired" excuse held no ground anymore, and that I needed to just get out there and do it. Go for it! Run for the gold (or the skinniness ;))!! So, I threw on my running clothes and went for a run...and a mighty fine run it was, I do believe.

Although my pace wasn't my best, I did 4.5mi in 45 minutes (a dead even 10min/mi average pace), and I feel great afterward. I definitely love the runner's high during and after a good run.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

Happy mother's day to all the moms! :) I thought I would share some of the reasons I love my mom and some of the ways she's been a huge blessing in my life.

My mom is an extremely giving lady. She gives of her time, talents, and love everyday. Just a few examples -

My mom's gift of her time...
My mom visits my grandpa everyday, and if she doesn't make it one day, it's because she's seriously too busy and simply can't get over there - which is rare. I love to attribute this to my grandma and her impact in my mom's life. My grandma, who died this past December, would drive to the nursing home to sit with my grandpa all day, everyday. I think this act of selflessness on my grandma's part has impacted my whole family, and my mom is displaying the same example for us to be impacted from. Oh how she loves him, and I know he loves his daughter. As hard as it is for her to visit some days, I know she wouldn't trade that time with him for anything else.

My mom's gift of her talents...
My mom is a phenomenal quilter, and she is always thinking of ways that she can bless others through her quilting. She is the founder of her quilting club, Stitchin' Friends, and is always coming up with lessons and workshops for the ladies. Mom is currently helping me with a quilt project for my students and has spent countless hours preparing and sewing the quilts together. She also makes quilts for different people, stitching in her love and compassion with each block. I'm proud to say that she also acquired this from my grandma, who was an avid quilter as well. I absolutely love looking at my mom and seeing the glimpses of Grandma in her - it helps me remember that Grandma's legacy never ends as long as we keep living, which is a great comfort on Mother's Day.

My mom's gift of her love...
There is no doubt that my mom loves me. First of all, she's put up with my goofiness for a good 24 years now, and she doesn't seem to mind it (eh, most of the time ;)). My mom totally and completely supports my running, coming to my runs and cheering me on. It makes my day to see her at the finish line with a huge smile as I cross the end of the run. In highschool, I would go on trips with the youth group from church, and my mom always "surprised" me (it eventually became expected after a few trips) with random notes throughout the week. She would put together a special note and a small surprise for everyday that I was gone, and then give them to an adult on the trip to be the "deliverer" of the pieces of love. I'm a homebody that loves to travel, so it was always comforting to read Mom's notes every morning while I was away. Oh how I miss those days!

These are just a few small examples of my mom's great love for her friends and family as well as the way God has used her to shape me. I have no doubt in my mind that God has used Mom to mold me at times, and I'm sure He'll use her again. I'm just glad she's been willing to be used.

I love you, Momma!! :)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

just one of those days...

Have you ever had one of those days?

A day when all you need is a good run to let off some steam and stress? was one of those days.

I was so ready to just go for a run, let everything go and run my heart out. But, by the end of the day, I was so beat down and discouraged, I just came home, put my running clothes on, and sat outside listening to the birds for awhile. It was all I could do - I couldn't do anything more.

I ended up not going for a run. I just stuck around the house and eventually rode the exercise bike for 100min while I read (time flies while you read!! Didn't realize I had been riding for so long). It was good to ride, read, and just let my mind become lost in the pages.

I'm hoping tomorrow isn't "one of those days." I really need to get out for a good run as it feels as if it's been so long since I've been able to just run and run without a care in the world.

Maybe tomorrow will be one of those runs. I hope so.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

I'm a wimp - W1D1 of pace training

Yes...I am a wimp - I admit it!

It was so hot and humid today, that I only did just under 15 minutes of a run, but that's alright. It was my first day of working on my pace, and it actually went really well...beside wondering if my sprint pace was any faster than my run pace. lol I used Ullrey's podcast to help me know when to run and then when to sprint so I wouldn't have to keep track with my phone. I didn't do the whole run that Ullrey had planned - I did about half of it. When I was looking up tempo training plans, the one I decided on (and am half way using) has you do four run/sprint intervals, so that's what I did today. Next time, though, I think I'll shoot for the whole workout instead of just half.

Here are the details from my run:
Time: 14min 56sec
Distance: 1.58mi
Average Pace: 9:25/mi

Yes, folks...that's 9min 25sec per mile! That's a pretty good average pace for me! I hope to see it improve as I continue my pace training!! I'll let you know how it goes.

Happy running! :D

Friday, April 30, 2010

May 15th - 10k race - quickie post

I did it! I signed up for my first 10k. Woo! It'll be in Charlotte (Ballatyne area), and I'm not sure that it's for a particular cause. I think it may just be a race, which is fine - but I do enjoy having a purpose behind my running! :)

I found one on that same day that I would have LOVED to do, but it's about two hours from here. It's the Walk for Water, and they're raising money to dig wells in Kenya - love it!! If it weren't two hours away, I would do that one in a heart beat!!

Happy running. :)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

short 2 mile run?

When did I ever believe that running 2 miles would be considered a "short" run? When did I ever believe that I would actually go on a run? lol Well today, I went on a 2 mile run, and it felt great. I've been debating my "next step" as a runner lately. I was set on training for a half marathon (13miles, I think), but when I was looking at dates for half marathons in my area, I couldn't find any that were around the time that my training would finish up. So, I've postponed that a bit for now. bah

However!! I did find one on September 18th, which is only 2 days before my 25th birthday. I figured it'd be a fun way to celebrate the big 2-5. Only problem is that it's an hour and a half away, so I'd have to get a hotel room for that Friday night probably. So, that's an option. If I do this one, my training will begin in about a month probably. There's also one in December that's in Charlotte, which would be perfect - it's just so far from now! So...I'm still debating which to do. We'll see!!

For now, I decided to play around with some tempo training to work on my pace. That was going to be my goal today, but it was so bright outside that I couldn't see the stopwatch on my phone very well. Sooo..I started thinking about what I could do to help with knowing when to run and when to sprint, and I came up with an idea! When I started C25K, I used Robert Ullrey's Podcast, which I highly recommend for anyone just starting out as he tells you when to walk and when to run (so that you do the intervals). I wasn't sure about his choice of music at first, but I got used to it and enjoyed it.

So, my idea is to use his podcasts again to help me know when to run and when to sprint, and I'll just go through the C25K program, but with a bit of an Ellen-twist to it. I'm not sure how far into the program I'll go this time, but I think it'll be interesting to see how it works for me!! I'll let you know. :)

Now - to find out how I can get the podcasts to play while I use my Nike+. This will be my task tonight, I do believe! Happy running, my friends!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Meet the Wannabe

There once was a young teacher who envied runners.

They must find such great relief in their runs, and of course they look so very cool out there running their little hearts out. Oh, how she wanted to be one. But oh how she could not run.

Until she found the program. The program that changed it all. Couch to 5k, affectionately known as C25k. The 9 week program helps you become a runner through baby steps. And baby steps is what she needed!

The journey began November 20, 2009, with W1D1 (Week 1 Day 1) of C25K. It involved much sweat and a few tears, but it was finally over March 1, 2010 (okay, more than 9 weeks, but life gets you sometimes!). However, no matter how long it took, she was ecstatic once she reached the end!!

Before she even finished the program, she ran in her first 5k race on February 20, 2010 (Cupid's Cup in Charlotte, NC). Her amazing cousin ran it with her, and they had a ton of fun!

She finished this race in 31min 53sec - great time for a first 5k!! She did her second 5k on March 13, 2010 (Get Your Rear in Gear benefiting Colon Cancer). Her "team" had nifty shirts, including a baby's hiney, but she personalized her and made it a bit more modest for her tastes...

Although she wanted to improve her time, she completed this race in 32min 22sec - about 30sec more than her previous time. Arg! Her third race was April 17, 2010 (Come See Me). Her two cousins ran in this race as well!

This time, she finished in 29min 1sec!!! WOO! This was her personal best, and she even went below 30min!! She also received an award towel for placing 2nd in her division of ladies.

[picture coming soon]

Since completing C25K, she has been working with the One Hour Runner (OHR) program to train for a 10k, which she will run in on May 15th. She ran her full hour yesterday, and went about 5.95 miles - not too shabby for an hour!

She will soon be starting training for a half marathon - training start date and race date are both still TBA! She has a great support system in her parents, who attend all of her races, and also keeps herself accountable by posting on the C25K forums.

Who is this person we speak of? (I just realized that I've been typing in third person this whole time! lol) My name is Ellen Justice - nice to meet you! Join me on my journey to becoming a true Road Runner!