Last year, in June, I posted about my goals of running a few 5ks and my desire to lose weight. I half-hearted did it the last part of June and some of July, but in August, something inside of me clicked. I honestly cannot tell you what it was, but I knew that if I was EVER going to do anything for my health, it would have to be NOW.
So, on August 15th, I started the C25K (Couch to 5k) plan. I worked the whole plan, sometimes repeating a week so I could catch up. I finished it, and I ran my first 5k for real in 40 minutes. I realized I loved running, and my husband realized I was serious. What a strange combination!
I lost 20 pounds in the process, and I began sleeping better and eating better. It was a natural progression, and it just morphed into a total lifestyle change.
In 2012, I ran a 5k in January, and a 10k in Febuary. I was supposed to run a 15k in March, but for personal reasons, I had a friend run that race for me. I did, however, finish my first half-marathon on April 29th in 2 hours and 40 minutes. You'd think after all that running that I would be done.
Not anywhere close!!
I did take a running break to relax a little and catch up with my kids, but I'm back on track now. I'm doing some of the last half of my half-marathon training program, and I'll start my marathon training during the next month.
Yes, I said (typed) MARATHON.
26.2 miles.....not meters.....miles
One year ago, I would never have imagined that I could run a marathon (and there are definitely days that I still have my doubts!) But, I am going to try. I'm so excited and scared.
I'm so thankful for all the runners who have encouraged me along the way. They say that running is a solitary sport, and it is. But, while you may physically run alone, you never run alone. It is very difficult to stay motivated and on-track all by yourself. Thankfully, the running community is filled with people who are always willing to give a "Good job!", "Way to go!" or "You can do this!" at just the needed time!
I'm also thankful for my non-running friends who have encouraged me even though they think they could "never do it" (even though I'm sure most of the could. After all, I did!) Not one time did anyone tell me that I was wasting my time or that I wouldn't succeed. All those fears I had about myself were just in my head. No one ever spoke those things I thought about myself. (Do you think there's some sort of lesson there?!)
Now, I'm going to name some names!
First, I had an awesome race partner, CJ. I've known her since high school, and she's an awesome motivator and friend. I could not have finished any of my races this year without her--she's awesome.
Second, my family is beyond words. My Mom & Dad totally supported me running. Babysitting for long runs or races was always ok, and they always had Academy gift cards so I could buy running gear. My husband, Kevin, was a little hesitant at first, but he is ALWAYS 100% supportive! And my beautiful children, Abi, Hannah, Connor, & Jada, are the absolute best cheerleaders!!
Third, I have friends online and in real life that offered the kindest words of encouragement. Katie Cook (who ran the marathon when I did the half), Stefanie Shockley, Tara, Brette & Joel, Mary Ellen, Amanda, Lucretia, Connie, Amber, Tammy, Chandelle, Crystal, Jennifer, Jenn, Shannon, Cassie, Laura, Charlie, Deborah, and all the other "Sistas" whose names I cannot always remember.
I have a few people that I consider running "mentors". Some I have never met. Some inspired me to begin running. Some I met after I began running, but they have encouraged me to keep pushing myself to new challenges. So, Jenn & Barbie, we will meet some day and run together! Jodie, you'll always be younger (& probably faster), but I'll race with you any day! Erin Henderson, I am totally rooting for you to qualify in 2016! Jason Butler, we don't live that far from each other and we are bound to finally meet at a race this year, but you are going to do awesome in Boston!
What about you? Are you running? Swimming? Encouraging? Being encouraged? Let me know about your goals and mentors.