Hello all! Hope your weekend was fabulous. They always seem to go too fast these days! Hard to believe we just finished the last weekend in February! Where is the time going?
Last week I was sick and unable to really workout. I did manage to get in a short Body Pump class on Thursday evening. I also tried to run and only got in half a mile before my cough was out of control. Needless to say I was pretty nervous about my run on Saturday as I was scheduled for 10 miles! I have not gone more than 7 during this training, and I have only been able to run 2 times in the last few weeks!
I headed out Saturday early afternoon. The weather was really beautiful. I started at a park that I was familiar with which included bathrooms. I planned to go out 2.5 miles, that way, out and back would be at least 5 miles. I hoped that I would be able to do that! If I was able to do all 10 miles it would be a miracle. I had not gone 10 miles in a LONG time. Well, since my last half race 2 years ago this weekend! The first few miles were hard, as they usually are. After I hit the 5k mark I settled into a groove. 2-3 min running and 1 min walking. I was feeling pretty good till about mile 6, then I felt sluggish and like my legs were going to stop moving. I slowed down and walked for a a bit. I headed back to my car and decided to refill my water and Energy Bits! I got going again and I felt a little better. I did one more lap around the park and I was closing in on the 10 miles. I did some sprints back and forth in the parking lot, and I am sure I looked pretty silly.
I wanted to collapse, but got in my car, drove home, showered and headed to babysit 2 of my favorite kiddos 🙂
I took a hot soak Saturday night and did some stretching. More stretching yesterday, and I am feeling pretty good today except for a tight left hamstring.
10 miles in the books. It wasn’t as fast as I was hoping, but I am sure I will finish my first half of 2014 this coming Saturday!!!
Speaking of running, I met an incredible woman thanks to Twitter, and she has a story to share about how running saved her life! I have read over her story several times, and I just am amazed at how she took back her life and has made fabulous progress thanks to running and staying active! Remember it is never too late!
Take it away Michelle!
How Running Changed My Life
I should really title this “How Running Saved My Life” because it is absolutely true! A little backstory on me: I didn’t really struggle with my weight until my senior year of high school. I had been pretty active up until that point playing softball and I could really eat whatever I wanted and maintain a healthy weight. Slowly the weight just kept coming on and I had no clue how to stop or how to eat healthy. By my junior year of college I was about 40 pounds overweight and decided to join Weight Watchers. I got down to my goal weight and maintained that for about 2 years. But as I started teaching and then got married I kept gaining about 15-20 pounds a year until I was pregnant and my starting weight was 220. I gained a lot of weight when I was pregnant. I took the whole “eating for two” thing quite seriously! At my 6 week checkup after our son was born I weighed in at 230 pounds. That should have been my wake up call but it wasn’t.
I struggled deeply with postpartum depression. When my son was around 2 months old the depression really took hold. I didn’t care about anything unless it had to do with taking care of Colton. I focused all my energy on him because that was all I could do. I didn’t care what I ate or what I looked like and I certainly didn’t care about my health. I just kept putting weight on and continued to feel worse about myself. My husband could see how depressed I was and he struggled so much just watching me slip farther and farther away. By the time Colton was around 18 months old he was desperate to help and one afternoon suggested I try running to try to help me feel better. He had been a runner and he thought it would help me to get outside. I honestly figured I would try it and after one time just be able to say it wasn’t for me and it just wasn’t something I could do. I was in a place of constant negative talk for myself so I had already doomed running before I even started.
So the next day we set out with the jogging stroller. I warmed up with a 5 minute walk and then my husband said “Ok, lets try to run for a minute or two.” I couldn’t make it to the next mailbox. I have never been so defeated and upset at myself as I was in that moment. But somewhere in the back of my mind there was a little voice telling me to try again. So the next day we went back out and I made it to the next mailbox. This time I got home and I felt determined. Something was happening to me while I was out pushing my body and forcing myself to move and have time to clear my head. I continued to go out and push myself a little farther each day. I started to go alone because I knew this was a journey I needed to take for myself and I needed to have time to think. I will never forget the first time I ran a mile. I felt unstoppable and immediately went home to sign up for my first 5K. Every single time I went out for a run I felt like I was running away from the depression that had had such a strong hold on me for over a year. I was running to find myself again. I would come back from every run and feel a little bit more like me.
I continued to train for my first 5K and in October of 2010 I did it! I was so proud crossing that finish line. I had begun to notice that I was losing weight because of all my training. I really hadn’t changed much in the way of my eating so I decided I would start to make small changes to try to help lose the rest of my weight. My main motivation at that point was because I wanted to run faster! I have now lost 70 pounds and have 10 pounds left to reach my goal weight. In the almost 4 years since I’ve started running I have ran many half marathons and this past November I finished my first marathon. As I crossed the finish line I finally felt like I had beat my postpartum depression. I had found myself again.
Running truly saved me. I don’t know where I would be right now if I hadn’t gone out for that first run and then the next day to make it to one more mailbox. I feel better than I ever have and know without a doubt I wouldn’t be in such a great place if it hadn’t been for running! My journey certainly wasn’t easy but every step has been worth it.
before & after
Way to go Michelle! I am so happy for you and proud of your accomplishments! You should wear your medal everyday!!
Thank you for sharing your story!! I am sure it will encourage and inspire many!
Leave some love for Michelle if her story touched your life like it did mine!
You can connect with Michelle on social media
If you want to share your story of how running, or any exercise, changed your life, email me at chocolaterunnergirl at gmail (dot) com.
Have a great day!
Your Chocolate Runner Girl