Here’s a little background on my journey thus far.
I started running in college by myself around the neighborhood. I never really took it seriously but did it to try to get in shape. During the summers of college I worked in Hawaii and spent a lot of time running after work to give me something to do. I got in fantastic shape, then when I would go back to school I would slide again.
Fast forward five years it was June of 2010 and I was getting a little, ahem, pudgy around the middle. Who’s kidding, pudgy everywhere. My larger clothes were getting tight and I refuse to have a certain size in my closet. It’s not that I am focused on being skinny – I’d rather have my cake and eat it too than be a size 2 – but to be happy with myself I didn’t want to accept going there. So I took charge and started running a 3 1/2 mile loop around my house. I say running but I mean run 5 minutes, stop and walk because I almost died, then repeat. Took me about a month a half to be able to run the whole thing. And I can I just tell you, I felt victorious. So we started signing up for 5k’s to keep motivated.
At the same time my husband was also trying to get in shape. He had participated in a triathlon several years earlier and he really wanted to do more, but was finding motivation hard. Since I was running well, and a natural swimmer, it felt like getting on the bike was the next natural step and it would be something we could do together. We went to Plano Cycling and Fitness to look at bikes and let me tell you, Kyle was fantastic. He didn’t laugh at me when I told him I didn’t think I’d like biking. He listened to me and answered all of my questions without making me feel like an idiot. We walked out of the store with a new bike (I am Specialized) and tons of gear and our pockets much lighter.
We started biking together and joined the PBA (Plano Bicycling Association) and started biking distances we’d never dreamed. We signed up for a triathlon on Labor Day and pushed ourselves to a new level. It was great to be able to work out ourselves and each other at the same time. After the triathlon (I placed 3rd in my age group!) we didn’t have anything on the calendar, so we stopped having the motivation to stay in shape.
Come December my friend at work, Linh, asked if I wanted to do a half marathon with her. She wanted the motivation to lose a few of those extra baby pounds. I’d never dreamed I could run that far – at that point I had run 8 miles once in my life. So I signed up and set a goal. I started running in January for a March race. The training wasn’t super consistent, bad weather and work travel made it difficult. There was a weekend in February I ran 11.6 miles just to see if I could. That week I was talking to another co-worker who challenged me to sign up for the Cowtown Half Marathon that weekend. Never one to back down from a challenge, I did. I ran the race and was amazed. I couldn’t believe I had done it – I was slower than I wanted, but it was hot and windy with a nasty hill at mile 9. I was unbelievably proud of what I accomplished and glad I knew what to expect when doing my next race.
4 weeks later came the initial half marathon I signed up for – the Dallas Rock and Roll half. The weather was perfect and I felt great. I started running and I was excited, happy and full of adrenaline. Apparently that’s a good combination for me. My boss was at the race about 3-4 miles in, he said I looked like I was out for a jog – and I felt like I was. I kept looking down at my Garmin and I couldn’t believe how fast I was – and I was having a great time. That must be a runners high. My husband was at the start, halfway and finish. We he saw me halfway through he couldn’t believe how fast I was either. I felt no pain until about mile 8. My foot started bothering me (heck of a blister let me tell you) but I didn’t let that slow me down. As I crossed the finish I was overcome with emotion. I dropped 13 minutes off my time from 4 weeks ago and I felt absolutely great. Now I had 9 minutes to drop before my person goal of a 2 hour half.
Two weeks later my husband wanted to try his hand at his first half. He’s doing a half ironman in October and wants to get used to the distance in a race setting. I signed up with him to be supportive. We ran the Big D half and it was awful. Horribly hot, inadequate aid station and a course that felt like the whole thing was uphill. I was just glad to finish, I added 9 minutes from my time two weeks prior, but finishing felt like a victory in itself. He did great – but I did tell him out of the 3 that I did this one was the worst. If he could finish this one, he could finish anything.
A week after that came our first triathlon. It was my first open water swim and only the second time I got on the bike this year. It was cold – low 50′s in the morning. Luckily the lake temp was 68 – felt warm after the outside temp. Did an okay swim for not training but glad to know I can handle getting kicked in the free for all. My bike was great – better average speed than my first triathlon and my run got even faster. I can’t wait to see how much more I can improve!
Now you’re caught up to present day.