Tuesday, October 8, 2013

This girl is on fire!

It's funny how the Internet and a computer can form a bond between two people.  5 years ago I "met" Melissa on an ivillage board for December 2008 babies.  We were both actually voted the prettiest eyes in our Sugarmama superlatives, and our little girls were born just days apart.  Over the years we have become facebook friends and supporters of each other.  That is why I am so proud to announce Melissa as this weeks Wicked Inspiring Wednesday feature. She is, on top of being a phenomenal runner, one of the most kind, sincere people you will ever come across.  Her everyday happiness and love for her life and family just shines through social media.  her running story is just one of those goosebumps reads.  She is a force to be reckon with out there and wow is she a talented runner!!! I am looking forward to the day where we run the same race ;)

Meet Melissa:

To me, running shoes + an open road = happiness. In college and just after I was married, I participated in a number of local 5Ks and ultimately set my sights on a half marathon. I was registered and uber excited and....found out I was pregnant. I decided to focus on my baby. And then on the next baby. And then on the next. Over that time, physical ailments threatened to keep me off the road forever. I battled supra ventricular tachycardia, which refused to go away even after surgery. I also sustained a small fracture in my back. Walking was hard. Running seemed impossible.

About a year ago, my husband discovered a love of fitness and running and....I cried. I desperately wanted to run again but my body was not going to cooperate. So, I ventured into the world of spinning in the hopes that I could begin to recondition myself. What a Godsend spinning turned out to be. I went 2-3 times a week and slowly felt health, energy, and happiness returning to me.
This May, I learned about a 5K race that was being held locally on Mother's Day. The cause was one that was close to my heart so, before I could talk myself out of it, I entered the race. As a Mother's Day gift, I asked if my family would participate with me. So, on Mother's Day 2013, I ran my first 5K in about 12 years with my incredibly supportive husband, my three beautiful children, and numerous dear friends. Even with virtually no running prep and a 4-year-old who half ran, half was pushed in a stroller by yours truly, I managed to come in at 33:04. My husband ended up coming in at 22:17 and won first place in his age group for males. I was so proud of him. And I realized what I'd been putting on hold for over a decade.

I began to get very serious about my health and fitness. My best friend happens to be an incredibly talented spin instructor and overall fitness trainer. I finally listened as she coached me through healthy eating and the importance of cross training (particularly for me with my orthopedic history). I spun my butt off every chance I got. I found two amazing running partners who helped me slowly increase my miles and my pace. I ate a healthy diet (by diet I mean lifestyle) that my husband had been begging me to switch to for over a year. Weight melted off of me. Strength reappeared. My health improved. Most importantly, my happiness grew.

The "healthy me" entered another 5K on 09/07/13 with my sons, my BFF, and some incredibly supportive friends. I crossed the finish at 21:55! I won first place in my age group for women!
As exciting as that was, I was most eager to run my first half marathon.....the 13.1 that I had put on hold over 12 years earlier. Two weeks ago, on 09/15/13, I did it! I ran the half with my two incredible running partners. I came in at 1:51:33....under two hours! I put that 13.1 sticker on my car so fast...

Probably one of my biggest achievements to date occurred this Sunday at another local 5K. I came in second place overall for females! My time was 21:25....so was my husband's. We were so evenly matched (and we did battle it out on the route) that we crossed the finish line hand-in-hand.
I have one more 5K and another half in the next month. I just couldn't be happier in life than I am right now. I plan to keep spinning and running and just see where life takes me. I do, however, hear a 26.2 calling my name in the distance. :)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Love and loss

Being on a journey with the one you love creates an amazing bond. The love and support are awesome and there is always someone there that keeps you grounded. Today's Wicked Inspiring Wednesday is a story of a journey of Rebecca and her hubby. Together they have lost 220 pounds!!! You guys rock! 

I am a mom of 2-A little Girl 3 1/2 and a Boy 18 Months.  I work full time and my husband works full time also, but on an opposite shift so we are very busy!  

Both my husband (Scott) and I were always the heavy kid growing up. Always overweight as long as we can remember.  We had tried just about everything that was out there to try to lose weight.  But it was always a yo-yo and nothing really ever stuck.  Well one day my husband came home and said, I'm tired of being the fat guy and that evening he joined Weight Watchers and started at the gym the very next morning!  He was determined to run a 5K-It was a small goal.  After the gym, he said it was so much harder that he thought. He couldn't even run for 30 seconds slowly because he was breathing so heavy. So, he was determined, he started walking, caught his breath, and then run until he couldn't breathe again, then walk.  I was proud of him for trying.  He started out very strong.  He woke up early to go the gym, he also went after work.  I went with him after work, but I could only walk slowly, as I was expecting at the time.  He was doing great!  Making slow progress to run longer and longer and weight was dropping off.  He was so committed even though I could only do so much with him.  

We had a rough patch, I was put on bed rest at home due to complications of my pregnancy, and then also ended up on hospital bed rest and was rushed for an emergency C-section for having a seizure.  At the same time of my C-section, my dad was being admitted to the same hospital for an accident that happened at home.  He had parkinson's and was stubborn and was up walking when he shouldn't have been and fell.  He broke his femur.  My son was born 4 weeks early but healthy.  My dad ended up needing to have surgery the next day because his bone had shattered.  Even though we were in the same hospital it wasn't possible to see each other, as both of our conditions gave us limits at the time.  My sister and mom was able to take him pictures to see his first grandson.  The next day as I was starting to get better, the nurses informed me my dad had at some point stopped breathing that morning and he had to be put on a machine, something he never believed in.  Unfortunately, the prognosis was not good and his health continued to dwindle.  My dad ended up passing away 6 days after my son was born, never to see him in person.  I was unable to see my dad the way I had knew him and remembered him.  Even though he was still alive, he was already gone.  Devastated and having to deal with so much after a major surgery was rough.  I was determined to finally do something to turn my health around in memory of him and to help support my husband in his own journey too.  

As soon as I was able to, I too got on board.  It took a very long time for me to run, as it took me a long time to heal properly after my c-section.  I did it though.  I ran my first 5K and I couldn't run the entire way, I had to walk and run and walk and run.  my time was awful per say and I was upset, but my husband grounded me.  He said, Look where we are today.  Look where we have come from, what we have over come and I am not leaving your side.  We will do this together!  He was running along by my side, and let me finish just ahead of him.  It was my first 5K, but his second.  I then decided, I have to just stick with this.  The more I "trained" the more I realized, it is rewarding in itself.  I have to be honest, my husband love the thrill and at one point I even told him, I can work out but I don't know if I'm even cut out to be a "runner" per say.  However, after some time, we found another local race 6 months later and signed up.  It was March, I thought winter was over, oh no...it SNOWED while we were running, I was cold.  BUT WE DID IT TOGETHER AGAIN!  

My husband found another race and it came with a really cool medal.  Well, the 10K did anyways, but the 5K, not so much. So we decided, lets just try the 10K, and see how we do, We would walk if we needed to and finish walking if we HAD to, but just wanted to see how we would do. Well, one thing led to another, and by the end of this summer, we signed up and did a 10 MILER!  We just completed our first half marathon, and before we even did it, on the drive there (2.5 hours away) found another half marathon next weekend that was unique. This race would cover 11 bridges in 13.1 miles and the go over an old covered wooden bridge.  The medal is a wooden carved wooden covered bridge.  So, on my phone I registered us for another half marathon!  We already have another one scheduled at the end of october and also signed up to do a full marathon in November.  My husband really wants the medal, but I told him, I just want to see if we can do it.  I want to try.  If we don't finish, then we don't finish, but I will try my best to complete it.  Scott says, but I really want that medal, so I said, then we will complete it!  He is still thinking of maybe switching to the half instead of the full, but I am going to stand my ground and try to go for the full.  I think we are addicted though.  It is super hard to find time to run with the kids, and work and schedules!  It all gets in the way!  I hate that work cuts into my running time! LOL  So we are doing our best to manage and try to get some more consistent running in over the next couple of months as we get closer to the full marathon.  

In this entire process, we have lost about 220lbs total combined.  I am not at my goal but I'm within my healthy weight range. Scott is at his goal and feels he is where he wants to be weight wise.  He has been able to maintain for the last 4 months.  I have been stuck for the last 2 months, but fear it may be my body just trying to say I'm where I should be.  Scott again, tries to keep me grounded.  Look where we have come from and what we are doing.  The body is an amazing thing, it truly is.  

The funny thing is too, that I sometimes I don't recognize the people in the recent pictures.  I don't feel like I look "that trim/lean" just yet.  

Thank you for letting me share my story.