WARNING: This post may cause motivation and inspiration to get up and do something. Reading this post may effect your health and cause many other side effects including but not limited too increased energy, self confidence and happiness along with a possible decrease in weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
With that being said…
According to my Nike+ App I have ran 274 miles since I began logging my runs over the last year. I haven’t logged every run but most of them. 274 miles…that’s 105 runs, 75 hours of running, 177 donuts burned, enough energy to power 13,464 TV’s, 14.64 gallons of gas saved and .01 worth of distance around the earth. Although this sounds great I think I can do better. You may think well at least you did something which is more than a lot of people. But the fact that I have accomplished what I have in the past year and it didn’t kill me is enough to make me see how much MORE I can do now! Many people ask me how I lost my weight and how I got started running so I’ll let you in on all my secrets.
January 22, 2011 I went to my first Weight Watchers meeting. I was tired of being overweight and after having 3 kids and gaining at least 60 pounds during each pregnancy my body wasn’t happy. I was like every other woman trying every diet and workout under the sun with not much success which I do blame on myself because I never stuck with it. I think we all have a habit of trying something and saying it didn’t work but really was it the program or workout or was it OURSELVES? Anyways, I started Weight Watchers, got the app on my phone and logged everything I ate. EVERYTHING. Even when I would eat a Dairy Queen Blizzard that was more points than I was allowed in an entire day. It really brought to light how much garbage I ate. But as long as I stayed within my points I was losing weight. And yes I could eat anything I wanted but I had to count the points. The more healthy foods I chose the more I could eat. And the best part…FRUIT is FREE! I knew that I could always eat fruit.
So a couple of weeks into the program I needed to add in some activity. Activity gets you more points. You can eat more or just ignore them and most likely lose more weight. I was NEVER into sports or athletic but I always thought about how great it would be to be a runner. I would see people running down the street and they made it look so easy and effortless. I wanted to be one of those people. I had read about the Couch 2 5k program and I had a treadmill (conveniently located in my dining room) so I started the program. Here is the exact plan I started with.
I stuck to the schedule exactly and I went ahead and signed up for my first 5k race so that it lined up with my schedule perfectly and it helped keep me motivated everyday to stick to the plan. I had coworkers that signed up to run with me as well. So by mid-April I had lost 27 pounds and I successfully ran my first 5k!
After that first race I continued to run regularly and when I missed a couple days I found that I craved running. So what better way to stay motivated to keep running than to sign up for another race!
And then to change it up a little bit a group of us did the Metro Dash obstacle course. We won’t discuss how I did or if I completed all of the obstacles but you see my medal…so that’s all that matters here.
By September 2011 I had lost over 43 pounds and continued to keep a race scheduled so I had a goal to work toward. I always need a goal or I’ll stay idle and I’ll have to start over with my training.
My next race was a little different. It was a trail run. A 4 mile run through mud and streams, over logs and up a mountain and a few other obstacles along the way. By far the funnest run I’ve done. I loved running through the woods! Unfortunately, I have no photos from this run. Bummer…I know.
And then came the holidays. I’m not going to lie I dreaded the holidays and the weight struggles and when the holidays came I gave in to the temptations but I still tried to stay active and log my food anyways. My last race of 2011 was the Nights of Lights at Lake Lanier where we got to run through dark streets lit with Christmas lights. Lots of fun and I ran my fastest time that night.
By the end of 2011 I had lost over 53 pounds and heading into 2012 I had one main goal in mind…HALF MARATHON.
January 1st I started my Half Marathon training. It was a 12 week training schedule and I was determined to complete it. I signed up for the Georgia Half Marathon set for March 18th in Dowtown Atlanta. My goal obviously wasn’t to win, it was just to complete the 13.1 miles and find out what it felt like.
I did the twelve weeks of training mostly on my treadmill due to the fact that that is the easiest most convenient place to run while keeping an eye on my 3 kids. The closer to race day it got the longer the runs were. I started to question if I could do it. And that right there is the hardest part about running…your MIND. So I reminded myself that all I had to do was put one foot in front of the other and go as far and long as I could. And that’s what I did.
On March 18th I got up and stood in the race line with thousands of others in the early morning darkness as the Star Spangled Banner was sung through the quiet streets of Downtown Atlanta and then the race began. I’m not going to lie. It was definitely one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life but I did it and I’m going to do it again!
I am still on my weight loss journey and I still will continue to schedule races to keep me motivated to keep moving. I have so many friends who have either started Weight Watchers or started running as well that it encourages and motivates me to keep going. Here is what I have accomplished over the last 15 months. I hope it continues to encourage others to make a change and get moving too!