October 12, 2015

My First Official 10k!

Hey there!  It's been a little while since I've written a post here and I thought today would be a great day.  It isn't that I haven't been over here plugging along on my journey, quite the contrary, I'm still most definitely plugging along on this journey!

I wanted to share a few things from this weekend with ya'll!  On Saturday I completed my first official 10k race, at The Freedoms Run, and it was amazing.  I say "official" because I've run that distance many times but this was the first time I was doing it as a race.  Since I hurt my knee training for my half marathon, I haven't run too far and this was the longest I have run since May!  I was super happy and finished at 1:21 - nine minutes sooner than I planned!  And even though I have completed longer runs on my own, I was still scared as HELL to do this; but I did it anyway because you know my motto:  if it scares me, and I won't die trying, I'm gonna do it!

Here is a pic of me at the finish:

You'll notice I'm carrying a flag and I just want to take a minute to talk about the significance of this flag for me.  I am a member of this wonderful running group and it's called Bros Andbras...this is our official flag that is flown at races as a sort of beacon for our members to gather and as a rally point.  There are some pretty amazing runners in this group and I am honored to be a part of it because there are still some days that I just don't think of myself as an official runner.  We have so many levels of runners from beginner to expert.  So, to carry this flag over the finish line carries a lot of significance for me.  Especially since it came at the end of a tough last mile of hills and I was just exhausted.  The first 2/3 of the race was really great.  We started in beautiful downtown Shepherdstown, WV and ran down to the river and most of the run was on flat road along the river; a "nice" up-and-back.  I knew that I had to run back up a big hill which I had already pre-planned to walk.  I had felt great up to this point and was so happy to see the Hubs a few times along the route to keep me motivated.  He is and always has been my Number 1 fan and I'm so grateful!

About the time, I was to head up the biggest hill of the race, our leader Kevin (above, in red) came out of nowhere to find me, carrying our flag.  He had signed up to run the 10k, too but he made it his mission to help every single one of us in both the 5k and the 10k get up that big hill.  He was there to make sure I was doing okay.  We got to the big hill and he told me how to pump my arms, and throw my knees forward and that worked for a little bit.  I had to walk though because I was having trouble breathing.  He grabbed my hand and pulled me along telling me that all I had to do was concentrate on getting my breath back and he'd pull me.  We made it up the hill and since I was the last of our group he ran the rest of the way with me (with a few more hills, ugh) and met up with another member, David (in green) and the three of us finished, together.  Both of these guys are much faster runners than me - they had signed up for their own races, but they chose to finish their races with me.  As I write this, I am again in tears at how much this meant to me. 

The funny thing is that I am a lone runner...I don't typically like to run with other people because I'm slow and I never want to hold anyone back - plus, I am normally out of breath so I'm not much fun to chat with.  Even so, finishing WITH these two was one of my favorite parts of this whole experience.

I am so proud of myself and my knee for holding up and that I was able to experience such a great day with some pretty great people.

You know I always want to leave you with some positive advice and what I want to say to you today reiterates what I have been saying all along:  be brave...go do something that scares the crap out of you because every time you do, you start to realize how strong you really are.  And you are strong!

May 29, 2015

A Setback...

Tomorrow was the big day; the culmination of 3 months of training – my first half marathon.  It is what has occupied so many of my thoughts, so much of my time and energy for 12 long weeks.  I have put so much of my life on hold while I trained for this race.  Let alone the time it has taken away from my hubby, and through it all he has been nothing but supportive.  So many of my long runs took me away from home for half the day, only to come home tired, barely walking or able to do anything for the rest of the day…and there he was waiting for me with my couch woobie, ice, and dvr’d marathons of Fixer Upper and Alaska: The Last Frontier. 

But apparently, this particular half was not meant to be.  After all those hours, I am sad to say that I am not going to be able to run tomorrow and I am devastated.  After my last long run of 9 miles, I badly injured my knee so I have been resting it for my race.  But this week, I decided to see how it was doing and I started to jog even though it’s still been hurting me…I thought I gave it enough time; I thought I could run through it.  The truth is that I couldn’t even run a block without it blowing up like a balloon and I am back at square one, barely able to walk…no race for me.  I cannot describe the disappointment I was feeling when I realized that there was just no way I could physically run the race.  I got home and there was Jeff…waiting for me to see how I felt and I just looked at him and cried…and cried…and cried.

I’ve had a few days to process these feelings and have heard from my running and workout buddies to make me feel better.  For some reason I just got it in my head that this was my one and only shot at this…which is crazy.  I don’t even know what I was thinking.  So even though I am not able to run this particular race, I’ve got my sights set on another one in the near future when this body can physically handle it.  It’s a setback but it’s going to lead to my comeback…I just know it.  In the meantime, I’m going to celebrate those long hours of training I DID accomplish – I ran a LOT of miles!  AND, I’m going to be at that finish line tomorrow, waiting for my team to come across it and they’ll have the loudest cheerleader waiting for them.  I know that I will cry some more…I’m a sucker for a runner coming across a finish line.  I am so proud of all they have done to get ready for this race – so many of them injured along the way, too.  But we’re a tough group, so we’ll keep going.  We are runners…it is what we do.

February 16, 2015

My Tips of the Scale Interview

In January, I was approached by Tips of the Scale who asked if I would talk a little bit about my weight loss journey. I was truly honored to be asked even though I wasn't sure what I could offer; most days I feel like I am just fumbling around still trying to figure things out. But if I have learned anything, it is that I will be on this crazy ride for the rest of my life. And even though some days I’m frustrated as Hell…I cannot imagine going back and living the unhealthy life I had; the one that literally weighed on me every minute of every day. I am the happiest, healthiest and strongest I have ever been.
SO, I am beyond scared and nervous and a little bit excited to share that interview with all of you…I mean, I’m putting it all out there. However, if there is another thing that I have discovered on this little jaunt to healthiness, it is that somehow, someway I keep uncovering strength that I never thought existed. If I can help just one person who may be on their own journey, sharing my story is worth it. Don’t give up; don’t ever give up…fight. YOU are worth it.