Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Getting Started.

 This is me and this is where I came from. I was over 205 lbs when I decided that I did  not want to look this way any more. I started running because after 3 kids I wanted to get my body back. My husband ran his first half marathon in May of 2014 and I was absolutely amazed that anyone could run that far! He was our hero and that's when I decided "I want to do that!"
The getting started was not easy. My husband bought me my first pair of running shoes  and all new workout gear for mothers day to help support me getting started on this journey I had decided to take. When I got home and tried on that running gear, I refused to come out of the bathroom. I was a fat girl in tight clothes and I wanted no one to see me in that stuff! I marched my butt upstairs and found a baggy pair of shorts and a baggy t-shirt and in tears went out for my first run. It was not easy because every pound of fat I could feel jarring through my legs and feet as they made contact with the pavement. I did not make it far as you could imagine. I would pick a point within my view and run to it. This continued on for a couple of months until I decided to sign up for my first 5k to really give myself an obtainable goal. I talked my friend, Jill, into signing up with me and this is when our training really started to kick into gear. I remember the first time I ran a full mile without stopping I felt like a super star! A whole mile! I continued to push further until that mile turned into 2 and finally 3.  I ran my first ever 5k in 42:08 with a pace of 13:01/mi.   I went out hard at the beginning and ended up having to walk some which infuriated me. I wanted to run the whole thing!

 This picture is me with my friend Jill at our first race.  We did it! We may have thought we were going to die at first but we got through and we finished it and immediately went home to sign up for more races. We kept pushing our distance further and further and gradually my weight started to drop off too. Below is a picture of our first 4 mile race.

After we had a few 5k's under our belt we decided to sign up for the Capital City Half Marathon in May of 2015. We thought about doing the 10k but after a little debate decided to go for broke.  This is the same race that my husband ran the year before that had inspired me to get started in the first place.  After I initially signed up I had that "holy crap!" moment where I thought "what have I just gotten myself into?!?" but that quickly subsided and my mind started to wonder onto even BIGGER things.  
I wouldn't let myself even think the whole thought out in my head for about a month but the thought was there none the less. Could I? Should I? Is it dumb for as little time as I have been running?  Can I run a marathon???  26.2 miles................... That's insane! Right?    But the thought wouldn't leave me. I kept thinking about it and finally I let myself say the words out loud.  It was just to myself because I didn't want anyone to laugh at me but I said "I am going to run the Columbus Marathon in 2015."   There!  It was out in the open now. I had said it.  Now... to recruit someone to go through the pain of training with me.  JILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   I texted her a few days later and broke it to her gently that unfortunately, whether she wanted to or not, she would be running the marathon in the fall. She eventually caved and agreed to do it with me. At this point my husband decided to sign up as well. Yay! I had a support group now!
 After I made the commitment to myself I decided to look for some real training since I figure I'm gonna need some help getting to this goal. I looked around and found one of my local running stores had a free training program. WINNER!  I decided to go for the marathon training program just because I wanted to prove to myself I could do it. I showed up for my first group run at The Columbus Running Company in January and I put it down in writing what I was going to do this year. This pic below was my first CRC group run and it was -5 degrees out.  I did 5 miles that day and felt like a champ. 

This piece of paper is still hanging on my fridge. It reminds me of how far I've come and where I still have to go.

I went through the CRC training program like a champ. I mean we have good days and bad days of course but over all I discovered that 1) I am a cold weather runner. 2) I fall a lot 3) Trying to chew sports beans in the winter is not ideal.  I ran up to 20 miles in my training program. That 20 mile run was glorious. I felt great. I took my time and I enjoyed exploring the area on my own 2 feet. 

The picture above is me running my 4th 5k. I had a finish time of 26 minutes! Bam! Talk about improvement! It's amazing what losing weight and persistence will do for you!

So lets talk about the Cap City half.  It sucked. I sucked....  I was probably a LITTLE bit cocky going into it knowing that I had ran this distance at least 5 times in training runs. I thought I had it in the bag but boy was I wrong.  The temps were probably in the 60's that day and it was humid and I felt like I was melting. I know... it's sad. 60 degrees and I feel like I'm going to have a heat stroke.  I felt good until I hit mile 6 and I started to get goose bumps and a feeling of all the energy being drained from my body. I lost my running partner, Jill and after I lost sight of her I had mentally given up. Thankfully about that time my running coach from CRC, Eric, saw me and ran with for 2 miles which got me through to mile 8. I had never been so happy to see a familiar face and I was so grateful for him to take the time to push me and coach me along my slump.  I wish I could say that the slump ended at mile 8 but it didn't.  Like I said, I had mentally given up a that point.  After quite a bit of walking and a last minute surge to the finish line I finished my first half marathon in 2:42 and I wanted to cry. I was so frustrated at myself for days after this event but I decided to learn from it and not to let it get me down. I learned that I needed to run more hills, train myself better mentally and to relax when running.   These are all things I'm still working on.  Below are two pictures. Me with my husband, Barry, with our finisher bling and then the second is of me crossing the finish line. That smile on my face is pure relief that that race was over with.  

That brings us to present.  I'm almost a month out from my first half marathon and I have begin with a new training schedule for my full marathon in October. I hope to share some of my journey here and maybe someone can learn from some of the stupid stuff that I am bound to do :-) I am still training with the Columbus Running Company but through their charity group now called Love2Reach. I love running with this group. Everyone is so supportive and they have so much advice and knowledge to share. If there is one thing I can say that I've found most helpful is finding a support system that can help you get through the tough times. Whether its a husband, friend or running group or all 3! Find someone you can go to with your questions or you can share your pain and joy with.
Well that is enough for now. I have written a novel but this is me and this is how it all started.