Monday, January 11, 2010

One Year Anniversary

Last week marked the one year anniversary of when I started running. It boggles my mind that I have been running for over a year! So many things have changed in the past year, and I owe a lot of it to running. Last December I was really struggling with trying to eat right and losing the rest of my pregnancy weight. I was trying to eat right and work out, but it just didn't seem to be enough. I had watched a lot of my friends start running, but I "knew" I couldn't do the same. I would watch weight-loss stories on tv and people would talk about how they started running. I would say to myself, "There is no way I could do that. I have never been able to run and never will be able to run." One day I decided that I was at least going to give it a try. I not only made the goal to start running, but I also made the goal to run a half marathon the following June.
Things started out slow and rough. I would have good days where I thought that I would easily be able to finish my goal. Then I had other days where I doubted myself every step of the way. Along with running, I also joined Weight Watchers so I could have the accountability every week to go and weigh in in front of someone. Slowly but surely, running began to change my life. I not only began to feel better, but I also saw the pounds dropping on the scale. While talking to my friend Jessica one day about my new goal, she told me she wanted to run the race with me. I was more than thrilled! Not only was it nice to have someone to motivate me and keep me going, but I looked forward to our weekend runs where we chatted our way through many difficult miles. I was extremely sad when our race was over and we didn't get to see each other every Saturday morning. Jess and I decided to make a goal to run a race together at least once a year. Whether it's a 5k, 10k, half marathon, or full marathon!
Training for my first half was a lot of work. Jess lives in Layton, so the only days we could really run together were on Saturdays. That meant that it was only up to me to get myself out of bed to run early in the mornings. There were many mornings when I wanted to shut off my alarm and go back to bed, but I didn't want to let myself down. I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't miss a single day of training. And I'm happy to say that I didn't. Jess and I crossed that finish line after 13.1 miles! Our finishing time was longer than I was hoping for, but that didn't matter. We set a goal and we finished! That's all that mattered.
After our race was over and done with, I continued to run. Not as far as I had in the past, but I made it a goal to run at least 3 times a week. It hasn't been easy, but I have kept that goal. Along the way I have found people to accompany me while running. Four times a week, Cozette, Alexis, and I are out pounding the pavement around our neighborhood, come rain or shine, sleet or snow, or any other form of weather that gets thrown in our face! And I must say...running with friends is SO much more enjoyable than running with my ipod! I love the girl talk in the early morning hours! It is also a lot easier to get out of bed in the morning, when I know my friends will be there to join me! I am so grateful for them and the motivation they give me to keep going.

Since the half marathon last June, the only other race I have ran was a turkey trot on Thanksgiving. It is definitely harder to keep on running without a set goal in sight. Recently, Jessica and I registered for the Canyonlands Half Marathon which is coming up in March. Our 10 week training began today and I am so excited! I don't think Jess shares my enthusiasm, mainly because I forced her to register, but I'm hoping her enthusiasm picks up soon! I wouldn't be able to do it without her! Also on the agenda for 2010 is possibly the Salt Lake Half in April and maybe a couple of 5k and 10ks. I'm excited to see how each race turns out. Up until August/September, I couldn't honestly say that I loved running. It's definitely an acquired taste. Now I can say that I like running. I like the way I feel after a good run. I like the conversations I have while running. I like the friendships that I've built over running. Overall, running is pretty enjoyable!
Over the past year, with the combination of healthier eating and running, I've lost almost 60 lbs. I am in a smaller pant size than what I wore in 9th grade! I have struggled with weight my entire life, and now in my late 20's I'm in the best shape I've ever been in. The reason for this post was not to boast about my accomplishments. If it sounds that way, I apologize. That is not my intent. I'm hoping by posting this, I might inspire or encourage someone who has said to themselves "I just can't do it!" I'm here to tell you that if I can do it, YOU CAN DO IT! I always used the excuse that I just wasn't capable of running or exercising. It's not true. Anyone is capable of achieving their goal. It just takes a lot of determination and decide in the beginning to never give up. I am so grateful for all the many people in my life who have inspired me to become a better person! I'm also grateful for the many friends and family who have pushed me along the way. Without you, I would not be where I am today!

Maintenance is definitely not my favorite stage and it is harder than it looks. I feel like it is harder to stay at the same weight than it is to lose weight. Every single day is a struggle. It's challenging but I hope I can over come it. I know that just like housework, my weight management will never be finished! But I feel more confident now that I have learned the right tools to eat right and exercise. Here's to a healthy and happier 2010!

Christmas 2008

Christmas 2009

15 comments:

Annie Duckworth said...

Way to go Jill. You really look great. I actually drove past you the other day out there running in your SUU sweater. Good job accomplishing your goal.

The Baker Family said...

GO JILL!! Totally inspiring for me! Im in a weight loss competition with a good friend of mine and we just had our first weigh-in. I was up 2, she was down 2. Yah, not the happiest day of my life, but Im doin it! I will beat her! Our race is the first one to lose 30, and man, I hope I look as good as you do by the summer! Good job girl! You're my runnin hero!

dede said...

happy anniversary!!!! I agree with you on the maintenance - it is always the hardest part for me (which is why I have my new "goal jeans" hanging in my closet :) You are a great example and you look terrific!!

Jodi said...

You go girl. You look awesome!!

Nicole said...

Jill, you are awesome, I love you so much. You have given it your all and it paid off!! You inspire me also:)(thats pretty hard to inspire me to start running) so good job! Love ya

Mogle Family said...

You freaking go Jill! thank you for sharing your experience. To hear you say that it has not been easy is so true. It takes a lot of work. I am so happy for you. And you look great! 60 pounds in a year is awesome!

Scott and Kourt said...

That was a great post. I am glad that you love running and that it helped with weight lose. I wish I could say the same, I have a hard time losing weight. Thanks for the inspiration.

Kyle and Jamie said...

You go cowgirl!! You are amazing and look so good!!...and I want to run something with you...let me know!!

Blass Family said...

JILL!!!! I know this sounds so dumb but your post made me cry!!! I am SOOO inspired by you and I hope I can be as successfull as you are in your weight loss! You AMAZE me!!! Thank you for being you and for all the great words of incouragment! you are AWESOME!!!

Karri Sloan said...

You are totally inspiring. Thanks for sharing about your journey. Good luck with the half!

Jenny and Brett said...

That is seriously such an awesome story! I too have never been a runner, but since I have had the St. George 1/2 to work towards I have come to aquire a taste for it too! I am also running the Canyonlands, so we should try and see each other somehow! My friend from work is also trying to talk me into the SL 1/2, but I'll have to see how I feel after my 1st to decide if I can run 3 in 4 months!
Good for you though! You look great! We need to get together!!

Cozy and/or Roger said...

I agree . . . running with friends is SO much better. It almost makes it fun but definitely keeps us committed! I didn't realize how wet we got this morning until I got home. My hoodie was sopping!

Mike said...

You should totally run the Salt Lake Half in April! I'll be there to cheer you on! You do look great and it's awesome to see the reward of hard work

Bobette said...

Jill, you look so adorable always! Great job on your running!

Heidi said...

What a great post! Thinking I could "never run" is exactly how I've always felt. That was really inspiring! Good for you!