My Running Story

I was never a runner.  I dreaded gym glass in school.  I was overweight as a kid, not morbidly, but enough that getting a stitch in my side and sweating like a pig was not my idea of fun.  I have all kinds of other issues with my weight I have worked through over the years (being teased, being a victim) but this is about running and when I was young, I hated it.   I wasn't oblivious to it, however.  My father used to run.  I remember him going out with the dogs and running the neighborhoods around where we lived.  I would sometimes bike and follow along.  I never really gave it much thought, that he was a runner.  He called it jogging, and I never really thought about how he must have pushed himself, being very overweight, I'm guessing it was a great challenge for him.  I was young and didn't really pay attention to my parents achievements, however, so I didn't give it a lot of thought until I was older.

So, as an overweight kid who didn't care for much exercise, I became an overweight adult.  It was just what it was.  I was overweight and always had been.  I had spent years trying to lose weight unsuccessfully, I lost 20 pounds once when I was 20, doing Susan Powder videos and dieting.  That was short lived as I got pregnant that year.  68 pounds later, I gave birth to a 7 pound baby.  I was busy with my kids after that and rarely took care of myself.  I would dress them to the nines and be wearing a baggy ripped tshirt (you will see this below) and didn't really pay any attention to myself or my body.  I certainly didn't have time for exercise.  I was busy playing and enjoying my boys and I never did lose the baby weight from the first before gaining even more with the 2nd just 13 months later!

My last pregnancy in 2000 was my healthiest, but I still gained quite a bit of weight and busy with baby again, I found myself even heavier with a 1 year old a year later.  Something at this point clicked in my head and I started to put a little more effort back into myself and getting healthy.  It was slow going but somewhere in there I ran across a program called Couch to 5K.  I could run if it started off with just 30 seconds of running and then 3 minutes of walking, right?!?!?  I still remember that day when I got back from that 30 minutes of run/walking.  I threw myself on the floor in front of the couch (even in exhaustion, I think to not sweat all over the couch! LOL) and told Rey I thought I might DIE.  It was SO HARD!  It was exhilarating though.  That stitch in my side didn't feel the same as it did when I was an insecure girl in school.  It an ACCOMPLISHMENT.  I did it.  I RAN!  So, I continued. 

I would drive the kids over to my mom's condo and she would watch them while I ran 3x a week around her complex.  Gradually I could run a little more at a time.  The week that I ran 20 minutes straight I cried like a baby when I realized what I was doing.  It was my first runner's high, I think.  I was hooked.  And then the pain came...

My knees.  I didn't know much about running at the time, looking back I have no idea what kind of shoes I had and I'm not even sure I had internet back then...I guess I did to find C25K online, but I didn't have any idea how to find information at the time on pain and I vaguely had the idea that I had runners knee.  A few attempts more to run in pain and I gave up.  It's so sad, looking back, but I don't even know how long I went before I returned to running, but it was quite a long time. Years.  I would tell people how much I missed it but that I got runners knee anytime I ran more than 25 minutes straight and that I couldn't run anymore. 

Oh.mygosh.  I'm sorry this is so long!  Who knew I had such a long story!  Let's just jump to the past few years.  After moving out to the country and finding our nitch with a wonderful homeschooling group and starting my business, that itch came back.  I wanted that feeling again.  I never forgot it and I needed to find a way to get back to running.  So...I started back up Couch to 5K again.  Interestingly enough, I never had to start ALL the way back at the awful point where I couldn't run 30 seconds without being winded.  As I ran the program again, knee pain struck again.  I am a different person than I was back then, however, and knee pain be damned, I wanted to run!  I spent hours with ice packs and icy hot slathered on my knees those first couple months.  Rey was supportive, but worried that I was pushing too much...but the alternative in my mind was quitting again. 

The knees got better, but there was always another injury.  I had a cluster of warts on my foot all summer one year (ick, sorry...darn pool), pneumonia type sickness for a couple months, fibromyalgia pain until I realized I could cure that with Vitamin D, and then came the Plantar Fasciitis.  It  seemed that no matter what I did, there was always a set back and the PF was the worst.  It arrived in January of 2012 and set me back a whole year.  The pain was out of control for most of the year and slowly got better, but I couldn't run at all until late summer of 2012.  And run I did!  I stretched and stretched, took it slow, and crosstrained.  I also cut my calories and lost some more weight, which seemed to help, and in October 2012 finally ran my first official 5K!  (oh and FINALLY a picture!)

My trusty running companion, Dallas, my 17 year old son had joined me in training in the previous past couple years.  We ran it together and it was our first race! 

What a fantastic feeling!  Hooked once again, I decided that it was time I ran the Princess Half Marathon at my favorite place in the world...Disney World!  I have been reading about it for 2 years and I am determined to find a way to be injury free and run those 13.1 miles!  The race is February 21st, 2014 and I WILL be there running!  THAT brings us up to date.  Shew!  I have lots of other thoughts on staying injury free, those are future posts, however.  I just wanted to get my running history down here as a start.

This feeling I get when I run, it's powerful and amazing and free.  It hasn't just freed my mind though, it has transformed my body as well.  I recently turned 40 and I'm healthier than I was in my 20s.  I'm strong and feel younger than I did when I was young!  I put together a side-by-side on my 40th to see how far I have come and how much running has done for me.

and more than anything, running has transformed how I feel about myself.  I told my best friend that I finally feel like my insides are starting to show on my outside!  I've always felt like I didn't look on the outside like I felt on the inside.  I feel young and strong and fun and athletic!  I'm a runner, and I'm proud to call myself that now, even after quite a few years of denying that label to myself.  I'm done denying myself, I AM a runner and I FEEL like a runner! 

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