Learning to Love Fitness & Embracing New Challenges

As long as I can remember I’ve been overweight and struggled with this. I’ve tried almost every diet in the books and occasionally lost some weight then gained it back. I was focused just on losing weight not on trying to be fit. I definitely wouldn’t say I was healthy.

A few years ago I got on the treadmill and tried to run which got my heart rate up to 200 almost immediately and the treadmill shut off. So I definitely had some work to do. This journey has been a slow progression for me as I didn’t always have any sort of program or structure to my workouts. I always wanted to try running, but it was really difficult to run even for a few minutes plus I would get some knee pain or I would get discouraged by being a beginner. In 2014 I saw a trainer that helped me build up the muscles around my knee and this helped so much to get rid of the knee pain. So now I no longer had that excuse to use.

In 2014 I found a program off the internet and started training for my first 10K. I felt very slow and ran on my own as I didn’t want to slow anyone down. I did my first 5K in May 2014 mostly so I could see what a race was going to be like. I was nervous for the 10K which was going to have thousands of runners. Then June 2014 I completed my first 10K.
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This was an exciting experience but also very lonely since I didn’t know anyone. I did my race and I thought “okay I guess that’s it” and went home. I also found it discouraging because I have long time friends that told me my running was being fanatical and would not come to my runs or allow me to talk about running when I was around them. It was around that same time in May that I read about Run Like a Girl in a magazine and started following them on Facebook. I’m one of those people that don’t really post, but find the stories and constant remembers encouraging. After my 10K I didn’t have any goals any longer and stopped running. I gained back a bit of weight to get to my heaviest and decided I needed a new goal. In December 2014 I bought a treadmill and signed up for a half marathon clinic that was starting in February of 2015. I figured I could try to build up again to doing 10 minutes straight running which was the prerequisite to the half clinic. That was also around the same time I decided to sign up for the RLAG Retreat. This was a huge deal for me and I was a little scared as I didn’t feel like I was in good enough shape. I’m also kind of shy so meeting up with a group I’d never met was in itself forcing me out of my comfort zone. Training for the clinic and retreat were a huge motivator and helped me shift my mind set from not just losing weight to focusing more on getting fit.
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I went to the RLAG Retreat in April 2015 and it was one of the most challenging and inspiring experiences. I was pretty much the slowest person in the group, but my body did more than I thought possible so I met my goal. I even did a 32K hike to summit a mountain. I admit there was a spot where I wanted to quit, but kept going after a few tears and a hug from Dayna. randirap

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I love that in the running community it doesn’t matter how far or fast we are all accepted. Maybe I wasn’t able to share my new love of running with all my friends, but I’ve met so many new wonderful inspiring people I never would have met without running. I’ve even been able to run a couple 5k’s with my mom and sister. I’m very thankful to have met Hailey, Courtney and Dayna as they are a huge encouragement to me.
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I’ve also found a really great running group that pushes me to the next race and I always know they will be showing up to run. Since the Retreat I’ve been able to run my 1st and 2nd Half Marathon and started doing strength workout.
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For me goals and the people we meet are so important to keep progressing. I’ve still got a ways to go for my weight and fitness, but I now feel like it’s attainable.
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