Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Stories of a Runner (or Two)

I chatted briefly about running with Smasher Girl who signed up to do an awesome 5K walk for charity. Way to go! She was surprised to learn that I was running even before I joined weight watchers and was way overweight (ok, who am I kidding, technically I was obese). She wanted to know how I did it? I pondered that question and didn't have a good answer. I just did it. Let's backtrack to learn a little about my running history.

Let's go back to my early teen years. My father was overweight (Dad, you don't mind if I use you in this blog post, right?). My father tried countless diets (cabbage soup diet anyone?).

When I was 16, my dad signed us all (Me, Dad, Mom) up for the gym. Thanks Dad! He lost some weight and I think it was at that time that he started running. I would run a little with him but he was much better than me. We started off together and ended together but he passed me up in the middle. He was good! I think he told me his best at a 5k run was 7-8 min miles. I think. This info may be off a little but you get the idea.

I stopped running. I had to run the mile in H.S. and got better every year but starting in college, I started gaining weight. I still went to the gym and worked out but never, ever thought of running.

That was until a friend of mine was going to turn 30. I was about 24 years old. She wanted to run a 5k that was on her birthday. We both started running. She was thinner and therefore, faster. I couldn't really "hang", y'know? But I tried and we ran that run (she always finished first). I thought I was going to die! It was Sept. 20, 2003! I just recently found the picture they took while I was finishing. NOT PRETTY! I'll scan it and post it. I was red in the face and looked like I was going to die!

But I did it! I finished! That sense of accomplishment is what pushed my friend and I to do several more 5k's and 8k's in the next few years together. I only got a little better with the running. I was a runner/walker. I was still overweight (obese) and couldn't run very long at a time. I always tried to run at least 1 mile before walking, but after 30 seconds, I would be exhausted! But I kept at it. I never really improved too much, but there was some improvement. I just tried to be my best time.

So that's how I officially started. I just did it. I said that even if I have to walk half of it (or more), I know I can do it. It won't kill me. I might feel like I want to die, but I won't.

I now have run 3 half marathons over the past 4 years. My first half marathon, I probably weighed around 230. I'm not sure because I wasn't on weight watchers back then (2006). I signed up with a different friend and she ran with me the entire way! I thought (again) that I would die!

But running is completely mental! Sure, you have to make sure your body is physically capable of doing that type of exercise for that long. But if you can, then it's mental. Your mind is telling you "STOP!". In my mind, it's ok to slow down or walk. Go ahead! The important thing is to not give up!

Now that I've lost weight though, I can run for an entire race without walking! I never thought I would ever be able to do that. But you know what? After the first 2 mins, I still feel exhausted. I feel winded! But once I get past that 2 min. hump, it gets better.

My times have now dramatically improved. I'm still not in the front of a run. I'm still at least in the middle of the pack or less. I still haven't run better than a 10 min. mile on average during a run. But that's ok. I continue pushing myself to do it and I know I CAN do it. And you can too!

So what are some tips that you runners out there can share with the non-runners/beginning runners? I know you guys have some good ones! Please share!


  1. thank you sooooo much! that is really really really amazing. i can hardly believe it. you didnt hurt yourself? im scared i'll blow my hip out or something terrible :-)

    you are such a huge inspiration to me. you have no idea.

  2. Thanks! I'm glad you saw this post. Just start slow, see how it goes. If you have severe pain, stop and see a doctor to assess if you can continue running. You don't want to hurt yourself. I've been lucky and haven't had to worry about it. I do have bad knees and get sore in the shins sometimes but it's not so severe that I have to stop.

    Good luck!

  3. Heyy girly! Just came across your blog! Love it and I think that you are absolutely amazing!


  4. I agree with you, it's all mental. I find that there's a point during my run where I just want to quit, and if I can push past that moment, I can finish. Never quit. If I can run at over 200 lbs, so can anyone else!

  5. I agree with you!!! IT'S A MENTAL GAME.....

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  7. Well. I see I made your BLOG again. How cool. See I was a good dad after all. Sure wish I could have run a 5K with you but my ol knees said NO. Well, just keep on running cause when daddy get his new knees (when I am about 60) We're going to run together and I am going to give you the run of your life... Keep on going kid you're doing great.

  8. Anonymous5/21/2010

    From my blog you can tell I just started running myself. I so hated running in highschool, I hated any physical sport that made me sweaty. My suggestions are
    Take it slow at first
    Stretch Stretch Stretch
    Drink your water during running

    The mental block is an issue for me, I just try to focus on what is ahead of me and tell myself you can reach that point etc...

    Find someone to run with, running alone for me is to lonely.