Sunday, July 28, 2013


There is never a certain key for running.  For us all the paths we take to become runner's vary so much.  Some just decide to step out the door and run and they can do 2 miles off the bat, some step out the door (like me) and can not make it the .2 miles down to the end of the road without stopping and walking.  But no matter what, when you a running and you decide to push it, push it passed that point you are comfortable with time and time again to better yourself, go faster, go further, go longer we all have one thing in common. Persistence.  With running it sort of grows and grows until you stop and say oh dear oh me oh my I just went further, faster, longer and didn't even know it! The journey to becoming a runner is so different for everyone.  Meet Alexis, a mom, an attorney, and a runner!

My second Half Marathon is quickly approaching and I have been reflecting a lot on my goals for the race and how I became a runner.  As a child I had asthma,  it was often triggered by running and necessitated two in-patient stays at a local hospital.  They occurred around the age of 9 and 13, I remember the details quite clearly.  I could swim with no problem, so I swam in high school and even lettered a couple of times.  Yes, I am a former mediocre high school athlete.
It always bothered me that I could not run, I would try and quickly become frustrated with my wheezing and tight chest and at some point would abandon the effort.  While I was in law school I lived literally one block away from the finish line of the Boston Marathon.  If you have ever witnessed the Boston Marathon and said that you didn’t want to run, you would be lying. There is something really magical about watching those runners from the elite athletes that run 26.2 miles in just over 2 hours to watching those who cross the finish line long after the big crowds go home.  You really have to stand in awe of all those runners who put in the time, energy and mental fortitude to run 26.2 miles regardless of the time they run it in.
After one of those races, I decided to try my hand at running again.  I would wake up early and attempt to run a loop around the Charles River.  I would run and walk but I never got it down.  It was hard, too hard and I would abandon the effort again.  I resumed my workout routine of elliptical and walking  a couple miles to and from work every day.  Boston is an amazing city to live in, you can really just walk everywhere.  
Years pasted, I got married, had a child, moved to Baltimore, had another child, moved to California and then decided I was going to tackle running again and this time I was going to succeed.  The difference this time, I signed up for a 5K and followed a training plan.  I like structure so following a plan, especially a specific one would be the key to my success.  I downloaded the Jeff Galloway app for 5K training and was good to go.  I really liked that he talked to you throughout your run, encouraged you to slow down or walk if you were getting tired.   It truly was like having a coach with you on a run. 
Initially those baby runs, 1.5 – 2 miles, seemed long but each day I was getting stronger and eventually I was able to run 3 miles.  This was huge,  I never even ran the Presidential Fitness mile when I was in school. About a week before my first 5K, I got the flu.  I was extremely disappointed and could not run, I wallowed and was angry. Then I sought the counsel of some friends, who are runners, and they said it happens, now find another race.   That is what I did. I found the Run Like A Mother 5K and ran my first race at age 34 on Mother’s Day.  Now as I prepare for my 2nd Half Marathon, 13.1 miles, I can look back at all those attempts and failures and say I am a runner.

Alexis was kind enough to share they story she wrote from her blog and it is an awesome blog!!! Find her blog at Miles Meals Motherhood and look her up on Facebook!!!  She was recently selected as one of Women's Health's Action Heroes for 2013 and is working hard to spread the word about their Run 10, Feed 10 race series. Go check out her pages to learn more!!!! 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Finding Yourself. Journey from eating disorder to long distance runner.

Our bodies withstand a lot.  We put them through the ringer and at times we abuse them.  We treat them terribly and wish they would change.  Be taller, shorter, skinnier, curvier.  Some take extreme measures to achieve an image that only they see in their mind.  And yet after years of abuse our bodies will allow us to change and to accomplish feats we never thought possible.  After the abuse it still lets us push it, test it and reach new limits.  The body is truly an amazing mechanism.  Meet a self proclaimed tough bird, a friend I have found over at Running Strong with Lisa, who battles anorexia and has found running.  Running has become her focus, her good focus and she kicks some serious butt at it.  If you head over to her Facebook page you can see some of her awesome winner photos! 

Hello all. My name is Lisa & I live in New Ringgold Pa. I am mom to 5 beautiful children 

 ages 21,17,15 7 twins that will be 14 on Sunday.

I am the crazy runner girl who runs every day, between 55-60 miles a week. I am often 

asked if I have always been athletic & a runner. Unfortunately that is not the case. 

When I was younger I was very non athletic and I hated sports. I did anything I could to 

get out of gym class as I saw it as a form of torture. I was the chubby little girl who lost 

the weight when I got to middle school but I still did not see myself as thin. The summer 

of my junior year in high school I went on a diet. I restricted what I ate and exercised 

twice a day. The weight came off and I went from 125 pounds to 95 pounds. By my 

senior  year I was down to 78 pounds and hospitalized for a month. The doctors had told 

mom they are not sure how I did not die and I was also told I would never have kids. I 

struggled with my eating until I was about 20. I got better but my eating habits were 

never the greatest and I was always aware of my weight. When I had my children though, 

my focus shifted and I knew that I could never be anorexic again. I had to be there for 

them. When I had my twins, I started taking them for walks in the stroller everyday. 

When they did not want to go with me any more ,I started going on early morning walks 

by myself. I am naturally a fast walker so I loved it. 

In January of 2002, my marriage started to unravel. The day after my 33rd birthday I 

confirmed what I knew to be true and kicked my husband out. It was really hard on me 

as I never quit anything and I looked at that as failure on my part. I have since learned 

that I can only control my actions not that of others and I did all I could do.

One day in July, I had a really bad day. I wished at that moment I was a 

NASCAR driver as I wanted so much to go about 100 miles an hour. I definitely would 

have won that day. The next morning when I went out for my walk, I am not sure why 

but I started to run. I ran about a third of the course that I walked . I just loved it. The 

next day I ran even more and by day three I had transitioned my walk into a run and 

never looked back. For seven years I would run about 4-5 miles every day. It was my 

thinking time, my distressing time and it really helped me to stay positive and focused. 

It also allowed me to find myself again.

For years I had been asked if I was ever going to race. I really did not want to do it. I 

know how I am and I was afraid I would get so serious with it and I would take all of the 

fun out of it. When I turned 40 in 2009, I decided I was going to run a 5k. I found one 

that was happening in March close to my home so I thought I would give it a try. I was 

clueless to the whole racing thing but I went and had a blast. The race was being put on 

by a personal trainer. I contacted her after the race and started training with her so I 

could learn how to race properly. She put be on a training plan and worked with me on 

my diet. My whole focus shifted when I started racing. Never in a million years did I 

think 4 years ago when I ran that 5k that I would be where I am today having run 

numerous five & ten k’s, over a dozen half marathons, seven full marathons an Ultra in 3 

months, and two more marathons by the years end. It blows my mind at the things I have 

accomplished. I went from being the non athletic girl who at one point would not have 

been physically capable of running a race to the woman that can run marathons. I 

am also so much stronger both physically &mentally than I ever have been.

Running has done so much for me. It allows me to be in control in a good way. I feel so

 strong & so amazing when I am out there running. It is something I intend to do until I 

am no longer on this earth. I am so happy that I found running and I love that I get to 

share it with others.

I love that Lisa shared her story with us.  Too often we just continue to abuse our bodies and not celebrate what they can do.  Head over and show Lisa some support and also remember to love your body today.  Find something that your body does or is that makes you special and just say thank you.  Thank you body for being here for me today.  For being my vessel in this journey and for showing me how awesome I can be when I am ME! 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Discovering how much You are worth to YOU!

I just LOVE learning about running through the eyes of others, and what running or living means to them.  That is why I am super excited to announce some upcoming guests on the blog!!! I will be featuring their running stories, why they run, what keeps them going.  All in hopes that we can continue to inspire others to believe in themselves, set goals, and achieve them!!! So today I would like to introduce Jenifer.  Jenifer is a mom to three, and a fellow runner.  She can be found over on Facebook at Self Worth, Brought to you by the letters R U N.   So read her story, and then drop by and give a nice big hello!  She was brave enough to be my first feature :0).

So here is Jenifer and her story!

  • Ok..... I guess we should start at the beginning. Like the very beginning. I was the chubby kid. Valedictorian of my class, the brain, but definitely not the athlete. I didn't play any sports. As a matter of fact I was that girl doing everything she could think of to get out of gym class. I battled my weight my whole life. My first time at Weight Watchers was as a 160 pound 12 year old. I dieted constantly, and kind of yo yo'd through adolescence and young adulthood wearing anywhere from a size 12 to a size 16.

  • I got married, and had three kids. Each subsequent child put on a little more weight that I didn't get off. And my marriage... well.... that's another whole story that you and a therapist's couch ain't got enough hours in the day for. Let's just say emotionally, it was a train wreck. He cheated on my for 4 of the 8 years we were married. And I had pretty much lost all sense of who I was, what I wanted in life, or even if I was worth thinking I deserved it. Every few months I would sit down and try to figure out if I could financially make it on my own. But I was scared. Too scared to leave, too scared to be alone. And convinced there was no way I could make it without him.
    Then a very good friend came into my life. He said some very important things to me. He said "Jenifer, if your daughters were in your marriage right now, would you be ok with how they were being treated?" My answer was of course and emphatic NO. And he said, "then why is it ok for you? How much are YOU worth to YOU?"
    And I said, "But I'm scared." and he said "So be scared." And every excuse and fear I could throw out he shot down and said "You will find a way, how much are YOU worth to YOU?"
    That became my mantra. I printed it and posted it everywhere in my house. I finally asked my husband to move out (and he moved right in with his girlfriend). I couldn't afford the house alone so I moved into a condo. I started nursing school. And I also decided it was time for once in my life to take care of ME. This friend, who I will always say saved my life, he runs. Just 5k's and stuff, but he suggested I should make a goal of running one last summer. So in May of 2012 I bought my first pair of running shoes, laced up, and hit the track with the couch to 5k app.
    I ran..... every day. I ran when I was sad, I ran when I was scared, I ran when I was angry, I ran when I was happy. Running...... saved me.... on many occasions. It saved me from myself. I could ponder problems, or escape them. In July of 2012 I ran my first 5k. Then I registered for the Princess half at Disney in February. You can see on my page that since that first 5k, the anniversary of which was just last week, I have completed 20 something races. My next goal is the DOPEY challenge at Disney in January. 48.6 miles in 4 days culminating in my first full marathon.
    Me today? I'm 65 pounds lighter that when I started. I wear a size 4 which I have NEVER seen in my LIFE. I've gotten A's in nursing school and should be an RN by this time next year. My kids are well adjusted. I don't even recognize the person I was last year..... at all.
    Now.... as I say on my page I am not the poster child for change. I fell in love with the "friend" who saved me, and I fell hard. Unfortunately he was also at a rocky point in a relationship that he chose to go back to. And this was within the past month. I WAS DEVASTATED all over again. I cannot look at ANYTHING in my life right now without being reminded of him. I cannot even be mad at him even though he probably deserves it, because I feel he did SO much for me. And now, I am finally realizing, the only person who needs to validate my accomplishments and be proud of me.... is ME. How much AM I worth to ME? I went from being completely dependent on someone, to being emotionally dependent on another. But as he reminded me, YOU did all these things this year, I just watched you blossom.
    So now.... I still think about him when I run. I still love him. I don't know when that hurt will go away. But I also think about me. About how far I've come. About how much more I love myself now than I did before. About how much stronger and more confident I am now than I was before, not only in my abilities as a runner, but in my abilities as a mother, a co-worker, a student, and a HUMAN BEING. When I think about stopping, I think about how far I've come, and I think about how much further I want to go..... and stopping no longer becomes an option.

    Thanks Jenifer!!! I loved being able to share your story and to see how another runner hangs in there and never stops!! By the way the Princess Half is my bucket list race!!! It's the race I would love to most be able to do!!!! 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

My Journey...

Awhile back I sat down in the quiet of the night, with nothing but the fireflies, the laptop and my thoughts and wrote down my running story.   I shared the story in hopes that I could reach one person, inspire someone, and to let others know that they weren't along in any of the struggles that they have been dealing with.  I even sent a message out to a fellow blogger telling him he could use my story.  I wanted to reach people. I want to inspire people and I want people to know why I run.  And then yesterday I came across a picture on a Facebook page I follow and I got to thinking.  You see, when I get to thinking, I tend to have a jumbled mess of thoughts in my head and it all comes out in a random mess of words.  But I got to thinking anyway and here I am now trying to sort them all out and come up with something worth reading, worth writing and worth sharing.

You see, I wrote down my story, I wrote down the why I started and sort of the why I keep going. But since I tend to run with running partners and groups, this quote really got me thinking.  While we are all running the exact same road how is it different?  Running tends to be like a shower for me.  I think out there and I have time to process thoughts without little voices yelling "mama mama more juice" "Mooooommmmmm he's bothering me, he took my fairy" and "moooommm I have to poop" to name a few of the constant thought interruptions.  So I came up with a ooohhh lets do it plan! I want to have guest bloggers (actually something I have always ALWAYS wanted to do since I think it sounds so cool!) that talk about their journey.  What does YOUR journey look like?  What drives you, what drives me?  How do you deal with the mind games? The voice in your head? What discoveries have you made out there? Why do you keep going? How has your running changed? How has your life changed?  I have a few takers who are even willing to do this, and I couldn't be more excited!!! So stay tuned for some guest bloggers YEAHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! And if you want to share too then please just let me know.  I have a small addiction in learning about different runners and love reading all the stories! 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Sweat Pink!!!

So, losing the 103 pounds, becoming a half marathoner and a true runner is pretty awesome.  But do you want to know what is even cooler than that?  By taking the time to believe in myself, to find ME and to discover I can do anything with a little believing and lots of hard work and dedication I can also inspire others to do so.  I went for a run this morning with a good friend and her little girl (my future daughter-in-law, lol I hope!) and she told me what an inspiration I am to her.

Things are starting to come together and it's almost like I needed to lose the weight and find myself so that I could be used to help others do the same.  My kids are napping now and I took some time to check my email. Boy am I beyond glad I did.  I received an email only moments ago, hence the jumbled random thoughts my fingers are spewing right now, that I just HAD to share with you all!!!

You are looking at the newest Sweat Pink Ambassador!!! That is right!!!! I applied and was welcomed to the team just moments ago.  I can not wait to get involved, to meet new friends, to start sweating even more pink and most of all to inspire others.  I have a feeling that I will be doing a lot of growing and trying of new things.  Watch out all, I have no idea what I am capable of yet but it's got to be something big!?  Oh and check out my awesome new badge in the top right hand corner of my blog, it makes me feel all official :)