From Zero to 26.5

There’s a joke about runners.  It goes something like this:

Runner_mainQ: How do you know if someone is a runner? A: Don’t worry – they’ll tell you. 

It’s true.  3 years ago, the only time you’d see me running is if something was chasing me.  I gained nearly 80lbs in college, which stayed with me for years.  I was still “healthy” but I could do better.  It was when I began having breathing difficulty (huge sighs as I tried to doze off) and when my arms started to go numb as I was sleeping that I decided I’d had enough.

In February 2011, I embarked on a fitness journey.  It was time to do something about my health.  I started walking as much as I could, parking my car at the very last space in the lot and taking the stairs everywhere it was possible.  I started small, participating in American Heart Association’s Heart Walk challenge.  Thanks to some awesome support from my brother, I was able to make a real difference.  I also realized that people really believed in me…more than I believed in myself.  With some encouragement from a friend, I started jogging, which turned into running.  I ran a 5K.  Next goal: half marathon (13.1mi.)  Did 2 in 2011.  In 2012, I challenged myself more, running 3 half marathons, a lot of 5K’s and registered for the big one.  On November 4, 2012, I completed my first full marathon here in Springfield and was so excited (maybe delirious) that I registered for the 2013 Tulsa Route 66 Marathon.

2013 has been a tough year for me and my family.  We’ve suffered great loss with the passing of my grandmother (Nana), my mother and my aunt all over a span of a few months.  The holidays will be different, but we’re looking forward to spending some quality time together.  Your support as we deal with this loss has been incredible.  Thank you.

Some quick running stats for the past 11 months:

  • 178 days in a row with at least 1mi or more logged (started the streak on Memorial Day…was supposed to stop on July 4, but kept running…like Forrest.  Momma didn’t raise a quitter!)
  • 886.7 miles logged in 2013 so far (nearly 3,000 since Feb 2011)
  • Over 142 hours of time put in this year, over 128,000 calories burned
  • I’ve worn out 6 pairs of shoes and learned some very important life lessons (like what NOT to eat before a long run)

3 days until the big event.  This weekend will be last full marathon (for the time, anyway – I prefer half marathons.)  It even has a special detour that includes a beer, Red Bull, and live music which adds on .3mi to the total distance.  So, on Sunday, I’ll be running 26.5 miles…on purpose.

If you’d like to track my progress on Saturday, you can do so either via RunKeeper (it broadcasts live from my Twitter account – @runbcuz) or through the Route 66 Marathon app (available on iOS and Android – free.  Just check your app store.)  I’ll be sure to tweet pictures before I start and after I finish the race.

Here’s the thing.  NONE of this would be remotely possible if I were doing it on my own.  I have an AMAZING support network  at work and at home with family and friends.  For that, I am incredibly grateful.  THANK YOU!!

PS.  I’m taking vacation next week to recover.  The turkey and pumpkin pie will be extra delicious this year.  🙂