Friday, October 29, 2010

Rock n Roll Half Marathon - New Orleans

I am running the RocknRoll Half Marathon in New Orleans in february. This will be my 3rd half marathon and I can't believe that I'm focusing on my third. My whole life, I can remember always being concerned with my weight. In high school, I always felt like the ugly duckling, a boy even told me I was ugly in 8th grade!! I don't know if I felt like being skinny would make that feeling go away, but it seemed to be a major area of focus for me, as it can be even still. When I started my current job, I gained weight from sitting on my behind all day long, and the need to do something finally was greater than my fear of working out. I had been to the gym before, but never really knew how to "work out". In 2007, I met a girl who had a personal trainer for a husband, and I was introduced to Crossfit.

Crossfit is a movement, I guess that's what you can call it, a type of workout that can be done in a garage. All you need are pull up bars, bumper plates, a rowing machine, a back extenstion machines, medicine balls and kettle bells and you've got everything you need. You follow a daily "Workout of the Day" and it can take anywhere from 3 minutes to 30 minutes.

The first 6 months of working out, I typically would end my workout feeling sick and having to lie down or go to bed. But within a year, I was in better shape than I ever had been and I was proud of myself. I made good friends and finally started to gain some confidence in my outer appearance.

I did that for 2 years and because people changed, situations changed, gyms changed, I changed... I decided to move away from that environment. I met a couple that were into endurance sports and they introduced me to a whole new idea... running. I have had a love/hate relationship with running over the past year. There are times when i've ran 6 miles and felt so good, I never wanted to stop. There have also been times when i've 1 mile and thought it was the hardest mile I'd ever run. It's so weird how the time of day, the weather, what you ate, your shoes, how anything can affect the type of run you're going to have. In december of 20089, I decided that I wanted to run a half marathon. I had run 5 or 6 miles a couple of times, but 13.1 miles seemed like such a distance. I didn't know if I could do it, but my friends encouraged me and so, I commited to run the Country Music Half Marathon in April 2010. I started training and committed to a couple of races between that November and April. Somehow, in that 6 month span, I ended up running a 10 mile race at Furman University, a 10k in downtown Greenville, a half marathon trail run in GA and a couple of 5k's. I went from crossfitter to runner instantly!!

The one thing that I gained during that time, well I gained a lot of things but the most important, is a friend who I cherish!! Jeanne has taught me a lot of things about running, but she's also been a great friend and I'm grateful for her being in my life. She has a little girl, Selah, who I also love and a husband that can be ornery, but deep down, is very nice. I've learned a lot from them and they've shown me that I can do anything, even run a half marathon in the mountains after only running for 3 months!

Now to my current mission, the half in New Orleans. One thing I've learned about my working out, in order for me to be consistent, I have to have an event to train for because the fear of the pain of not being prepared is greater than my desire to skip running during the week. I picked this course because 1) it's flat, 2) it's in New Orleans and 3) it's during a time of year that I like to run. My co-worker is going, her friend and my mom. I'm super excited about accomplishing another difficult task and I know I can do it, something I didn't know last year. I have a plan for how I'm going to attack the race and I'm sure I will finish in record time. I am also excited about doing this with my mom because she is a lot of fun. Mom has recently started running and is running in her first 5k this weekend. We did our first run of the course last week and she did great, 36:37!! How wonderful for a 53 year old woman!

My mom and I have always been very close and this is just one other thing that we can do together. Running has brought so much joy to my life, I hope it will do the same for her. When you conquer something like running 13.1 miles, you really feel like there's nothing else you can't conquer...unless it's running 26.2 miles... we'll see.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My first blog

This is my first blog and it's going to be short and sweet. I have been thinking about blogging ever since I read an article about two bloggers who have gained a lot of attention for their experiences in running and their nutrition. Problem is, it seems as though they are talking about caloric restriction and overexercising. I was appalled that so many people were following them. I understand what it is to struggle with my body image and how that obsession can take over one's life, so my goal is to offer my experience with it.

Over the past several years, I have gone through major changes in my life, I stopped drinking, I went to college, got a job, and went through a wide range of emotions about myself and who I am. Through that journey, I have started to realize this sense of wanting to help others, and through that, I am now trying to raise money for the American Cancer Society. My stepgrandmother was the first person I knew to die of cancer. She got ovarian cancer and died within 7 weeks of diagnosis. My stepgrandfather also got the disease and died from complications. One of my friends found out a year after having a major stroke that she has non hodgkins lymphoma and is going through treatment. I have so many other examples and I feel compelled to do something, however small it may be.

More on all of this, but starting now until february, I am going to be using this blog to document my half marathon training, my attempts to raise $1300 for cancer, and all of the obstacles that come with both. Thanks for reading my blog, I hope it'll be interesting!!!