This Sunday I will seal my 5 year journey with a kiss, the kiss is my first marathon, 26.2 miles to seal what I started. Don’t miss understand, it isn’t over, but it seems like a great way to close out five years.
I still remember how horrible I felt; always out of breath, no energy, tight clothes that always seemed to get tighter and tighter, feeling every roll on my body, feeling like my smile was lost in the weight that had to push it back to reveal “happiness” and being so embarrassed and ashamed of what I had done to myself that I never wanted to go anywhere or be around anybody.
But I also remember the night I had had enough of those feelings, the night I found spark people, the moment I told my best friend my plan and how I wanted her to hold me accountable, the night I made the decision to try to change.
November 4th, 2009 I weighed the heaviest I ever had in my life, heavier than either of my two pregnancies, and I fell into the “obese” category.
I had no idea if I could be successful with this journey but I knew I needed to at least try. Week after week, weigh in after weigh in, I was consistently losing weight. I followed the plan, I stayed within my calories given, I went out and was active and I lost weight through thanksgiving, Christmas, new year’s, and on.
I ran my first 5k two weeks into my lifestyle change, I wanted to run the whole thing without stopping, no matter how slow, and I did. It took me over 50 minutes, a guy power walked past me, but I did it and THAT started something in me, a real determination, because for the first time in forever, I saw potential in myself.
I’ve done countless 5ks, several 10ks, 15k, and 4 half marathons. If you would have told me 5 years ago that I’d run a 10k(let alone a marathon) I would have laughed and told you there’s NO way that would happen and then I would have cried about it eventually because of how upset I was with myself.
I never thought I’d run 26 minute 5ks, a 56 minute 10k, or that I could pull a 2:13 half marathon… but all along this journey I just keep surprising myself.
Just a year and a half ago I was still saying there was NO way I’d run a marathon, it sounded like torture to me. And yet, here I am, 4 days out from running my first. I stopped being as competitive with running two years ago and actually found real joy in it… suddenly running for hours on end, didn’t seem so bad.
Since day 1 of this journey I have worked hard, I lost 77 pounds, and even had a shout out from Bob Harper along the way.
This journey brought on a love of running... That love for running has brought really special people in my life. I love being a part of the running community.
I’ve done fun races with my kids.
I’ve done hard trail races.
I’ve done silly trail races.
I’ve done races in memory of someone special.
I even have a super inspiring boy that I run for now…
During the last five years I had my third child, had emergency surgery days after his birth, recovered, came back by losing what I had gained and am now at a total of -77.5 lbs. and my smallest since high school.
The journey is simple… eat better, eat less and get active…. But it’s anything but easy.
All of the sweat
The thousands of miles
Training on the snow
In the rain
In sub 15 temps
Mid-90s with 90+% humidity
Running circles in my backyard
All the times I ached in my legs
The moments I almost threw up
The runs with friends
The runs alone
All the HOURS of training will come down to the moments that get me to the finish line.
My 5 year lifestyle change anniversary is Tuesday, November 4th… my marathon is Sunday, November 2nd.
I lost the weight.
I’ve maintained it.
I gained self-confidence.
I did it.
And there’s no reason anybody else can’t.
God has truly humbled me through this journey. The support from my family, from my friends… its priceless.
Sunday as I make my way through each mile, high fives,
cheers from my husband
and friends… it’s going to be such an emotional day. I get so overwhelmed by the rush of feelings that I anticipate to have.
Grateful. Humbled. Thankful.
The journey is worth it my friends, and yours doesn’t have to include a marathon… but never say “never”