When I first started blogging a year ago, one of the first blogs that I started to read was See Sarah Eat. I was instantly in love with her blog; every day I was inspired by her determination to live a healthy and active lifestyle. She was one of people that gave me the push to run my first race and also helped me make the transition into a
Vegetarian Flexitarian Lifestyle. I am pleased to share her fabulosity with all of you! Without further Ado, here is Sarah!
My running story
When Mari asked me to do a guest post, she said I could either write about how I became a runner or how I became a vegan. Both are two things that if you had told me about a couple of years ago, I would’ve laughed at you! It was so hard to choose between the two, but I figured I would talk about running this time, since I am preparing for a half marathon on April 24th!
First though, I should tell you that in January 2007, I took control of my life. I was about to turn 25 and my health was declining, both in the physical and mental senses. I was severely overweight, sad, and tired all the time. I had done every diet imaginable in the past to lose weight and nothing ever worked permanently. But thank God, something in my head just snapped around Christmas 2006 and before I knew it, I was on a journey toward better health!
You can read more about my weight loss story here.
I didn’t start running until September 2007. I had lost 50 lbs by then, which I am sure has a lot to do with my success. I also took things slow and trained myself on a 10-week walk/run program that started me out running 2 minutes at a time in intervals and eventually I built up to 30 minutes of straight running. I can’t remember where I found this but it worked well for me and I’m glad I saved it because I have passed it on to many others.
10-WEEK TRAINING SCHEDULE
· Week 1
Run 2 minutes, walk 4 minutes.
Repeat 5 times.
· Week 2
Run 3 minutes, walk 3 minutes.
Repeat five times.
· Week 3
Run 5 minutes, walk 2.5 minutes.
Repeat four times.
· Week 4
Run 7 minutes, walk 3 minutes.
Repeat three times.
· Week 5
Run 8 minutes, walk 2 minutes.
Repeat three times.
· Week 6
Run 9 minutes, walk 2 minutes.
Repeat twice, then run 8 minutes.
· Week 7
Run 9 minutes, walk 1 minute.
Repeat three times.
· Week 8
Run 13 minutes, walk 2 minutes.
· Week 9
Run 14 minutes, walk 1 minute.
· Week 10
Run 30 minutes.
Once I accomplished this, it was time to decide what my next goal would be. I decided to aim high and register for the Kentucky Derby Festival Mini-Marathon (13.1 miles)! I started training in January 2008 and I followed the official training program almost religiously. I had to move around days here or there but I stuck to the mileage for the most part.
I completed three races in March 2008 – a 5k, 10k and 10-miler and then finally completed my first mini-marathon in 2:12:08 on April 26, 2008. It’s still so hard for me to imagine I went from never having run in my life to running a half marathon in 7 months.
After my first mini, I was spent, so I took a break from running and stuck to mostly 5k races the rest of that year. Then I got a mental block last year that made me think I was only cut out for shorter races, but I did manage to achieve my PR on a 5K race in May 2009. I also still managed to complete all those same races in March and April that I had the previous year, including walking that same mini marathon, which was a whole different (but still great) experience. However, I missed running like I had in 2008 and wondered if I could ever get back to that point.
During the fall of 2009, I was going through some changes. I decided to start eating a vegan diet in October and my energy and positive attitude were enhanced almost immediately. I still eat this way today and it has definitely helped my running goals, as have many other things along the way.
During that time of transition, I had a revelation. This is when I decided to give running the mini marathon another shot. I started mentally preparing myself in November and began seriously training in January 2010. I even started another blog to document my training program and to help me focus on healthy vegan eating and exercise separately, even though they go hand in hand.
Training this year started off okay but then we got hit with a lot of snow, sickness, and just life in general. Training during the winter months was incredibly challenging and I have not been able to do very much long runs in the process. So I was starting to have doubts. But then I ran a 10 mile race on April 3rd and felt the best I have after a race ever. This mini will be just the same, I’m sure.
I hope I don’t make this sound like running has been easy for me. I have struggled a lot along the way. The biggest battle has been with myself and doubting my ability to go the distance sometimes. Sometimes I lack confidence, sometimes I just have a bad run or sometimes I just don’t feel getting out there at all. I have struggled to run in the hot weather and I’ve struggled running in the cold.
But I am a runner and sometimes you have to struggle a little bit in order to get the ultimate payoff – crossing that finish line with a smile on your face and then carrying that smile with you every time you finish a run, whether it’s a race or around your neighborhood.
I truly love running and I feel like it loves me back, even though our relationship has struggled over the years. Thankfully, I have never been injured and when I do get sore these days, it is not for very long. I feel like my positive attitude, peaceful diet and lifestyle and a good pair of shoes are mostly to thank for that! I am in the best health of my life.
So, what’s next after this? I don’t know yet, definitely a few 5k races this summer. I’m sure I will have more up my sleeve before long but we’ll just have to wait and see!
You can read about all my past races and my current training program and workout routines over at River City Fitness. Or if you are more interested in a healthy vegan diet, how I fuel for my runs or how I maintain a 70 lb weight loss, come see me over at See Sarah Eat.
Thank you Mari for letting me guest post! I love telling this story because I want someone out there who doubts their own abilities to read it and see that with training, patience and determination you can do anything!
Thank you so much Sarah for doing my First Guest Post!!!!! AND Thank you for helping me better my life! You are an amazing Woman, Blogger, and Friend!