I still find it hard to believe sometimes that I’ve completed 8 half marathons in a little over more than a year from my first! As this year comes to a close (and my birthday nears) I’m wrapping up my year with my 9th and final half marathon! I’ve evolved my walking into jogging into running. I’ve gone from hoping to finish my first half in under 3 hours (finished 2:35) to my last half finished in 2:02! I’ve gone from focusing mostly on PRs (personal records) to ENJOYING running! I’m beyond “half crazy”! LOL
One of my most recent experiences around running really opened my eyes. I was at a table with some co-workers I was getting to know (beyond email exchanges) and all of them had questions for me on/about running. It was like I was sitting on a panel for runners and non runners. The best part, I never once thought “who am I to answer these”, because deep down I’m a runner and my head is catching up to my heart on that!
Running has been one of my best forms of measuring my progressing over the last few years. For those of you who don’t know where I started here’s the summary: I was well over 340lbs, lost my job/Mom/Grandma within a one month period, and in a general state of feeling lost in the dark. With no Mom, job, or significant other I had nothing to “fall back on” but myself and my current self was in no shape to help anyone including myself. I didn’t start off running at 340+ lbs, I started by just putting one foot in front of the other and walking. My Mom was an avid walker so this also served as a way to connect with her. As the weight came off (both literally and figuratively) walking became easier and I started to challenge myself with walking/jogging intervals. In time that turned into running. At some point though, I had to go outside myself for support and in doing so I found great motivators in family, friends, and social media. Yes, social media played a part in my weight loss journey. It’s been via social media that I’ve been able to share my story, meet others on their journey and those who I admire and aspire (running wise) to be like some day! It was the days I felt I had no where to turn when I’d turn to my SM friends and they’d lift me out of my trenches with no judgement.
I’ve met some AMAZING people through running! This past month I had the opportunity to meet some of my running idols at the RunRocknRoll #RnRLA (Los Angeles) expo. People like Dani from WeightOffMyShoulders (fellow WeightWatchers leader), Brian from PavementRunner (who’s a fellow Bay Area runner and a TOTAL ROCKSTAR in my book, ironically we didn’t meet until LA), Linze of SeeSharpRun (super fun/funny guy and never a dull moment when with him), John (who is another rockstar and running #SA2LV this weekend), and last but not least I got to meet some of the @RunRocknRoll team (super cool and committed people who’ve put on some amazing races and included me in them)! My point to calling these people out? They don’t need the extra follows trust me, they all have quite a following! But that they are worth the follow, whether you are a want to be runner, new to running, been running, male/female, East/West Coaster, etc.! These people cover all the basics and make running fun. They recognize that it’s about more than PRs but enjoying life and running through it, they pay it forward, and they are inclusive in all they do! They all inspire/motivate me when I feel like I don’t have anything left to give.
I say all that to say this….
I know it’s been a busy and crazy year and starting this year with doing just my 2nd half ever I’m ending it by completing my 9th! How apropos that it will be on the same course as many of the above and with @RunRocknRoll! This post is a reminder to pause through all the hustle and bustle (especially coming up with the holidays) and remember how far you’ve progressed this year. Change is constant, we often overlook the positive changes we’ve made because of this. Once upon a time, the #RnRLV was on my bucket list for runs because it usually fell on my birthday weekend. This year it’s a few weeks earlier, but I feel it’s still a great way to celebrate my life–I’ll be running in a 5K the weekend of my bday in lieu of!
People often ask why I run…I’ve heard a lot of other’s answer this “because I can”, “it keeps me sane”, etc. And while those all apply to me as well I’d have to honestly answer that I run because it’s a blessing on the life I was graced with. It’d be like being given the gift of life and not waking up each morning. I haven’t always had the ability/capability to run, now that I do I won’t take it for granted. This is why I’m ReNewedMe. I couldn’t go back to what I knew as “normal” and in turn I created my new normal and realized change is good and not as scary as I often saw it to be.