Today and tomorrow we have a real treat. I asked two beautiful women to contribute to this series by sharing their running stories. We’ll have a newbie runner and someone who’s been running for years.
Today, we get to read Kristin’s story. That’s her over on the left. Isn’t she darling?!
Kristin’s the newbie runner. We’ve e-mailed back and forth several times over the months. I’ve been so honored to follow her journey. She has had the most amazing support group.
I hope y’all are as blessed by Kristin’s story as I was when I read it!
It all started in the spring of 2011 when I told my husband I would like to run a 5K. It was a laughable moment. Especially since I would start diets and exercise programs, do them for a week or two, and then give up when it got tough. I was the queen of getting really excited and motivated, convincing my husband to come along for the wild ride, and then jumping off the ride just as it got started.
Iâ€™ve been overweight almost my entire life and the only time I ever ran was in P.E. when my grade depended on it. But, anytime I saw a runner I would say, â€œThereâ€™s no way I would ever want to do that. . . I just donâ€™t get it!â€ and laugh it off while on the inside I was thinking, â€œI wish I was brave enough to be a runner.â€
As the new year of 2012 came, I just knew it would be different this time. I knew it in my bones. I felt like God had inspired me that this was my year! I actually believed it this time. I was going to change my physical life and stick with it. I decided I was going to run an entire 5K this year.
By February, my husband bought running shoes for me and was so encouraging.
In March, I began searching out running apps.
And then April came . . . I remember the first time I heard of Ruthanne and Eclectic Whatnot. My twin sister, Amanda, raved about this blogger who was a momma, wife, and runner who had faced the challenges of weight loss. I was at the point in my journey (the beginning) where I HAD to find someone I could relate to. Someone real who faced the same challenges I faced . . . two of the biggest ones: being overweight and love of food.
April was also the month my friend Michelle decided to start a C25K program. That, along with Ruthanne, was the straw that broke the camelâ€™s back. At this point I knew it was going to happen.
Finding someone to relate to and getting a support system around me was what encouraged me to actually begin running. It wasnâ€™t as easy as throwing on a pair of shoes and jumping on a treadmill or running through my neighborhood. For me, it took an absolute heart and mind transformation to actually believe that it would happen.
On May 1, I began a C25K program alongside my sisters, momma, and a couple of girlfriends (We call ourselves the Chasinâ€™ Dixie Chicks â€“ we even have a group on Facebook, you know that makes it legit. Ha!). I remember that day so vividly. It was really happening! We laced up, stretched, did our warm-up walk, and then . . . the first 1 minute jog came. OH. MY. WORD. I thought I would DIE! But, we made it. I ran for 1 minute straight! Over time one minute turned into 3, into 5, into 10, into 20, until eventually, I was able to run the entire time. We actually repeated every week on the C25K program, which was wisdom for us.
I had two goals as a newbie to 5Ks: to finish the race and run the entire time. I didnâ€™t care what my time/mile was. I had to keep my goals simple.
My first official 5K was on September 23. My husband, the Chicks, and I signed up for the Susan G. Komen, a race close to our hearts. I was pumped! We ended up running the entire race. My husband stayed by me the whole time, even though he could have lapped me! My time was 43:27. I was/am so proud. It may not have been the best time, but I couldnâ€™t have asked for better.
There were many times that a small part of me wanted to quit. I couldnâ€™t let that part win. My wise husband would remind me often, â€œWhen you donâ€™t feel like doing it is the exact time you HAVE to do it.â€ It was the words I lived by (and still live by). I wonâ€™t let my body dictate my dreams. I am determined to push through. I remind myself that God showed me this was my year. He is my strength.
Running is now a regular part of my life. Since my first 5K is over, some of the ways I stay motivated is by keeping small goals in mind like running the hills around my house, or signing up for the local turkey trot and color run. These goals remind me to push through as I work on my big goal of eventually running a half marathon and marathon!
As a newbie runner this is what Iâ€™ve come to realize has helped me the most: starting small, finding people I connect with, and getting a support team. If I mess up, I donâ€™t need to be hard on myself, and I always need to keep my goals realistic. Itâ€™s not always easy, but itâ€™s been worth it.