Wednesday, July 7, 2010

How It All Started

Everyone has a story about something. This is my story of how I got into running and some of my thoughts on the activity.

I've been overweight all my life. In 2003, about 10 months after having my 1st son, I decided that I didn't want to be a 'fat mom.' I joined Curves and started following the Weight Watchers Points program and between July and the following October, I lost close to 50 pounds. Curves was a great workout for me b/c it burned calories and toned muscles, but I also added a little running into that - I can remember it took me about 3 months to be able to run 1 mile. I planned to sign up for a 5K but when the 5K wasn't scheduled, my running slacked off and I started to gain some of the weight back (slowly, so it didn't really seem like a big deal). In 2006, I became pregnant and in 2007 gave birth to our 2nd son! Much of my weight came back and stay on (I did manage to keep 20 of those original pounds off:)

On January 2, 2010, I looked at my boys and said, "This isn't funny - I've gotta do something about my weight!" And it was in that instant that I started this new weight loss/fitness journey.

My plan has been quite simple and pretty generic (not to mention cheap - I refuse to pay a boat-load of money to lose weight - I'd rather save the money for some kick-ass clothes in a smaller size):
I started following the Weight Watchers Points plan again and hit the gym everyday.
The gym I go to ROCKS - it's brand new and has awesome equipment, so I'm lucky in that respect.
I found a workout in Prevention Magazine called a 'Speed Ladder' that was 30 minutes long - every 2-4 minutes you either increase your speed or incline, causing your body to constantly adjust to the changing activity demands. This is what led me back to running. As part of that speed ladder, I would walk briskly, or jog for 1-2 minute intervals and I thought, after several weeks/months of doing that, I could handle more.

So the running - or at that point, I should say jogging - began.

On April 3, I downloaded a registration form for a 5K and started training.
I went out for my first, can you say, 'death?' I honestly thought I'd never make it back home - my legs burned, my lungs felt like they were going to jump out of my throat, my stomach was churning, my face was red. But I managed to squeak out a 2 mile distance in around 28:00 (that's about a 14:00 mile - not so hot if I wanted to run a race in 6 weeks).
I kept at it - just pushing myself a little further each time - rewarding myself with things like a new Itunes download or just the pure satisfaction of accomplishment.
**Important to note that this entire time, I've had the hugest support team - Jeremy has checked in with me everyday - asking me about my weight, what I did for exercise, what my goals were, etc. He's even been my 'measurer' when I do my weigh-ins every month.**

On May 16, 2010, I ran my 1st 5K - I was totally nervous and unprepared (I wore shorts and a tee shirt on a 49 degree morning). I had 2 goals for my first race:
#1 Set a base time (preferably under 32:00)
# Don't finish last!
(I just got registered and pinned my number on - I was sooooo nervous)

The race was hard - although I ran it about 8 times during training, I didn't feel confident running it that morning. It's a tough course - mainly incline the entire way out (then down hill most of the way back, which you would think would be easy, but it isn't - take my word). I started feeling nauseous with only about 8/10 of a mile to go. To my good fortune, a friend, who already finished the course, came back to find his dad to run the remainder of the race with him, but he must've seen me struggling and asked if I wanted him to run with me - YES! I said. His conversation distracted me and he encouraged me to just do my best.
I ended up crossing the finish line in 30:03!!! Holy crap was all I could think! I never expected that time (especially since I took about 5 walk breaks). I ended up placing 3rd in my age category -in my FIRST RACE! Talk about endorphins flowing.

(Here I come down the home stretch - I was feeling horrible but elated!)

(Hitting the finish line - so happy)

(Totally surprised when they called my name)

(The reason(s) my mantra is 'Yay Mommy!')

More race stories later!

1 comment:

Kerri said...

What a great blog, Amy. Im so glad you started this! You are so inspirational- Im so proud to know you and have you in my life!!! Can't wait to (someday!) run a 5k with you!!!