A big thank you to Laura from Mommy Run Fast for asking me to write my story about why I run and featuring me in her wonderful blog. I recently hit my 3 year runniversary and I am looking forward to many, many more!
Until about three years ago you would never catch me running. No way, no how. Heck, I probably wouldn’t have run even if there was a bear chasing me. I’d take my chances.
My sports experience as a child was limited. I played soccer until ninth grade. Coach made us run sprint repeats one hot day. For the first time I experienced the joy of tasting one’s lungs. I hated it. I puked. I didn’t try out for soccer ever again.
But I would hike. How could I not? I live in Colorado - the Rocky Mountains are my big back yard. Give me a good pair of boots, snacks, and a trail that would amble on forever and I was one happy girl. And so I did manage to stay relatively healthy and trim.
Fast forward twenty years. Life, school, career, kids, demands, under active thyroid ... the next thing I knew 30 pounds crept up on my 5’2” frame. I went hiking with my mom and kids one day. Mom took a picture that hit me like a ton of bricks. I had changed. My BMI was still “normal” but I was 5 lbs from overweight. Obesity, arthritis, diabetes all run rampant through my family. I started to get scared.
What kind of example was I setting as a mother? Who on earth would listen to me about healthy lifestyle choices as a nurse practitioner? Let’s face it, if you talk the talk you had better walk the walk.
It was now or never - no one but myself was going to make this get better. So I sucked it up and got to work.
D-I-E-T! What an ugly word. But I made a plan and I stuck to it. It sucked, I was a monster. But I saw it through.
E-X-E-R-C-I-S-E! I learned quickly that I liked moving more than eating less. I had an old hand me down treadmill in the basement. It was covered in dust and Thomas the Tank Engine toys. I cleaned it off and started walking. I decided the only time I was allowed to watch junk on TV I would do it mobile. I made a point to walk at least 4 miles a day - every day.
After about a month I had lost 10 lbs (Yay!) and was really bored with walking (Boo). So I started jogging. Quarter of a mile, half a mile. The day I ran a whole mile I totally freaked out and went running upstarts to crow to my husband. He thought I was hilarious but gave me all the kudos I could hope for.
Two miles and doing fine. Then three miles. At this point it was 3 months into my lifestyle change and I had lost ALL the weight. ALL!! So I was able to start eating more but I had learned well. 100 calories amount to about one mile. Have fun, but use them wisely.
My next obstacle was getting out of the basement. The idea of running outside terrified me. But, much like a groundhog peeking out of his burrow at the end of winter, I emerged.
And I never went back.
5K ... bam!
10K ... bam!
My first 10 mile run was such a monumental day for me. I remember cornering my neighbor, Sylvia, who was outside when I came home and had to prattle on and on about it. She was awesome, very patient and happy.
Next month my first half marathon. One year later my first full.
And so it goes. 20 half marathons under my belt, 5 fulls. I am now a member of the Marathon Maniacs and have already plotted this and next years races.
And what have I gained along the way? Health, happiness, peace, support, confidence, friends, mentors. I swear that running with friends is a workout, therapy, and girls night out all wrapped up in one. And how great is that?
Sometimes I’m stronger and faster. Sometimes it’s time to back off. But I’m always moving forward ... and I intend to keep it that way.