Monday, September 3, 2012

What a difference a year makes!

I can honestly say... Running changed my Life!!
1 year ago today (er, Saturday) September 1st is a monumental day for me!  It's the day I decided to quit smoking and start running!  Little did I know that God had a plan for a total transformation and it started with getting me running.

It started simple enough... I needed to quit smoking and I was ready to lose the baby weight.  Evelyn was almost 2 and I was still packin' on a few extra LB's that I was not so fond of...  I hoped running was my solution to hopefully take care of both... Find a healthy outlet to deal with kicking my addiction and lose some weight in the process... PERFECTION!

After starting (and flaking 3 times), I recruited a good friend to start the Couch to 5k with me. On September 21st (I checked my phone app) we started it together.  The first day, we would run for 45 seconds and walk for 90 seconds for a total of 20 minutes... and honestly, I thought I was gonna die at the end of that 45 seconds, how would I ever be able to run for 30 MINUTES?!?!?!?!  But we helped modivate eachother and we kept trugging along, repeating a few weeks once it got harder.  By week 7, I was sick someone telling me when to walk and when to run... and deep down, I knew I could do a 5k if I reeeeally wanted to, but that just wasn't enough for me... I wanted to shoot for something a little harder (OK, actually, I just wanted a cool medal) so on November 9th (again, checked the app), I bagged the couch to 5k and started my own weird training schedule for the Shamrock Run 15k.  Of course, being the great friend that I am (heehee) I signed my partner in crime up as well and told her it was her birthday present (yes, she DOES still talk to me!!)
Shamrock 15k Finishers!
I remember telling people that my first race was going to be the Shamrock 15k and many of them looked at me like I was a little crazy (and I thought the same) since I had never done a race and the 15k course is notorious for the HUGE hills, but I was determined to finish it, without walking for myself and to kinda prove people wrong.  On March 18th, I finished the Shamrock 15k in 1:42:35 (11:01 Pace), I didn't die, I didn't walk and I got a really cool medal (or beer bottle opener) at the finish... From that point forward, I knew I was ADDICTED!

I think on the way home from the Shamrock, I told my friend that I wanted my next race to be a half-marathon... my thought was, if I can run 9.3 miles, I can surely do another 4 and make it a half-marathon... I heard good things about the Helvetia Half and it would give me 3 months to train for it... I could do that... I signed up ASAP (so I couldn't flake).  
Little did I know, the plan that God had for me while I trained for the Helvetia Half-Marathon... 
First, a little background... I was really depressed... I wanted my Husband to leave me and take my kids away.  I didn't feel like I was a good enough Mom or wife and I didn't deserve them and I really didn't want to "mess them up" by just being around.   But I found that running was the ONLY thing that made me feel somewhat normal and on days that I ran, I felt like I could function a little better as a wife and mom.
In April, I went to Kansas City to the International House of Prayer for the Passion for Jesus Conference.  I went (mainly cuz my husband had paid money... and I don't flake when $ is involved) and during those 4 days, I remember encountering (for the first time) God's Love and Forgiveness for all the stuff I had done in my past and I stood before God, completely broken, confused and exhausted... He forgave me and I was a new person!! That's when He decided He finally had something to work with and began a total transformation in me...  all I knew that I could do anything that I set my mind to... because I had the "Big Guy" on my side.
One of my Fav places on the Earth... IHOP.

Coming home from this trip, I had a renewed determination for training for my half-marathon and new-found love for running.  I found that when I ran, I could really feel God's presence with me.  I would spend my run singing worship songs, praying (sometimes for new legs!) and just enjoying his presence.  This was my alone time with God and I was loving it!

June 9th, I completed the Helvetia Half-Marathon in 2:10:28 (9:57 Pace) and was greeted by my Family and Best Friend at the finish line.  That was one of the happiest and
most proud days I have ever had! 
Helvetia Half-Marathon Finisher!
I look back and I cannot believe how much my life has changed in the last year.  I have been set free (obviously) from my smoking addiction, my severe depression, my fears of being a bad wife and mother, the regret from some past decisions that I have made in my life, and my fear of people and their thoughts about me (this is a work in progress) and through running, I have gained new friendships, started coming out of my introverted shell more, and I do something that not many people do in their lifetime.  I know this is just the beginning for me and I can't wait to see where God will take me in the coming years!
Running is more than just a hobby for me... It my quiet time (and with 3 kids, the ONLY quiet time I get) and my special time with God.  It's my Mommy alone time, a time for just me, to push my body and do something that I enjoy and that is good for me!  I am so incredibly thankful for the gift of running and how God uses it to help me be who he wants me to be!

1 comment:

  1. Ummmmmm, this is amazing and I love that I get to be one of the "new" friendships (even though we've technically known each other longer). So proud of you. And glad that you've never died on a long run, even though you'd be LEGENDARY :)