May 9, 2013

My Running Story

To start this story–I need to go back-way back.  Running is in my genes.  Growing up both my parents were runners  (I recently found a race shirt of my mom’s from 1986—and have been wearing it around the house!)  I joined the track team in the 7th grade and I will never forget the day I ran a 6:34 mile.  We moved to Georgia my 8th grade year and they didn’t have a track team for my grade…but once high school hit, I was back on the team.  Just in the last month a friend posted an old track picture of us at state my freshman year…..  talk about memory lane.

The funny thing about back then was I may have run 4 different events—but I was a sprinter.  The longest I probably ever ran was a mile and that was just conditioning to be a sprinter.

College came and I pretty much hung up my running shoes.  I didn’t really have a desire to keep “sprinting” and I surely had no desire to run any distance whatsoever.  

Fast forward … by a lot.

Jude was born March 5th, 2011 ….   Fall 2012 I had the startling realization that I was still carrying baby weight, but more than numbers on the scale, I had fallen into a complacent lifestyle.  Don’t get me wrong–life was busier than ever–just personally I had zero exercise in my life.  I think what scared me the most was how easy I had gotten comfortable with the complacent, no exercise lifestyle, that I felt like I could blink and ten years would pass and my whole family would be living a very unhealthy lifestyle.  If anything I wanted an active lifestyle to be present in our home and I knew it had to start with me.

Enter in the couch to 5k program.  Not gonna lie–I thought I was going to die the first week–but I pressed on.  That was September.  In October I asked for birthday money to buy new running shoes and I made real changes in my diet.  I knew enough that the two go hand in hand.

At this point I set for myself the following goals:  a 5k by the end of 2012, a 10k in the Spring of 2013, and a half marathon in the Fall of 2013–by my birthday in October.

I ran my 5k on Thanksgiving Day–the Gobble Jog in Marietta.  My two goals were to run the whole thing without stopping and under 33 minutes (my age).  Happy to say I did both! (Nowhere near that 6:34 mile from middle school–but we gotta start somewhere right?!).

At Thanksgiving Runner’s World put out a statement saying that Americans gain the most weight between Thanksgiving and New Years.  They issued the challenge to run one mile every day during that season. I put the link on Facebook and my friend Katie responded.  We both took up the challenge and we took to holding each other accountable!  I’m here today to tell you as for getting in shape, her accountability is the best thing that happened to me!  Each day we sent texts. We didn’t make it the entire season, but I still think we did really, really good.  It was during this season that Katie asked me if I wanted to sign up for the Nashville Rock ‘N Roll Half Marathon in April…..wait….what????  This was way before my October goal…..but we signed up for what would be for each of us our first half marathons!

After the first of the year we started our training and continued our daily text messages and holding each other accountable.  We both suffered some set backs–she had a knee injury–I had crazy sickness–thankfully they were at the same time and neither one of us lost heart.  We were able to encourage and speak life into each other just when the other one needed it!

We watched the miles increase.  We tried to run a 5k together that got cancelled due to thunder & lightening. We encouraged each other when a three mile run was tough and we screamed with joy when we both went on our first for real long distance runs.  I can promise you that accountability is what made all the difference for me.  I’ve been blessed by both her and my friend Sam who is the ultimate athlete and every technical question I send to her.  She even made me download an app so she could watch my training–which held me to a whole new level of accountability!!

All this to say 7ish months ago I was living a very complacent lifestyle.  Now I crave the simplicity of a run.  To have the time with the Lord–letting Him refresh my heart as my feet hit the pavement has been lifesaving and life giving over the course of these past months.  Like I said earlier, I thought I was absolutely going to die my first time out there on the couch to 5k program.  And sure, there are some days that my run does not go great—but it’s about getting out there and being active, and for me encountering Jesus in another beautiful way.  

To close my running story….I want my son to grow up living an active lifestyle and I am so thankful that I woke up before he settled in.  And if we want the real truth….we all really do this…….

Kidding.  Kinda.  But the real beautiful truth in this sticker is that in October I took my birthday money to our local running store and bought real–tested to my feet–running shoes.  I haven’t been back till this past week to ask them a question and while I was there the hubs bought me this sticker (and then put it on my car for me–isn’t he wonderful!!!).  Not going to lie–it felt good…okay…great!  To go from being there buying my shoes (and I happened to sign up for my 5k while I was there) to buying a sticker showing I had completed my half marathon.  It feels absolutely incredible to be living an active lifestyle once again.  I promise if I can do it, anyone can!

A few updates for the rest of 2013 on Instagram:

Half Marathon #2:

Half Marathon #3:

A wrap up of my journey as a Half Marathon Runner:

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