I’ve always been the shy quiet person who had a hard time making friends. One of the ways I was able to was through sports as a kid. I enjoyed many, but my top two were lacrosse and cross country. I started out hating cross country with a passion. My mom signed me up for it to help me get better at lacrosse. It was so hard, but eventually I got better and actually enjoyed running. I was even pretty fast, but at my school I was considered slow. This led to being left out by teammates for events and not being included for parties or in groups. I did have some mentors and friends, but after they graduated I didn’t have anyone left that was supportive on the team. Things got even worse. My junior year, I ran 350 miles that summer and even went to running camp. I wanted to really prepare for the upcoming season. My first race was awful. I felt sick and even had to stop and throw up. This caused me to walk during the race and get an even slower time. The following week my coach called me into his office for a meeting. He informed me that I was being cut from the team. The team that had no cuts when I started. I was so upset. I cried and ran out of his office. The few people I was friendly with on the team completely shunned me after that. That experience made me hate running. I never wanted to do it again after that. I had worked so hard and they cut me even though it was a non cutting team. That was a real blow to my self esteem. I didn’t think I could run or I was good at it or anything to do with exercise. So eventually I stopped completely. As the years went by I gained weight, then more weight and started to become more and more unhappy with myself. Every time I thought about running I remembered how I wasn’t even good enough to run on the cross country team, I definitely couldn’t run as I was then. This continued for many years. I continued to gain weight and became more and more unhappy with myself. I never wanted to go out. I never bought new clothes. I hated my picture taken and always avoided it. I spiraled like this for a while. One day, in 2016 I decided I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to do something about it. I saw someone’s post on Instagram about a RunDisney race and that really piqued my interest. I looked into and found a race I was really interested in, Star Wars Half Marathon in Disneyland. I told my mom I wanted to do it, and she was very supportive. She agreed to make the trip with me. I started running on and off that July. I had a ton of new runner problems like shin splints, numbness in the feet, chaffing. It was definitely an uphill battle. All these issues were discouraging and I took some time off. It was too much time off. The clock was ticking and I needed to get running. I started and stopped again over the next few months. It wasn’t really until October that I started to feel the pressure and started adding mileage. I increased it dramatically to catch up for all the time I had wasted. By the time January came around I was exhausted and in pain during every run, but I was determined to do my race. We flew to California the first week of 2017. We checked in on Thursday and went to the expo. There were so many running things! I got a belt to wear and hold my phone during the race. I was so nervous I could barely eat and sleep the days leading up to my race. Finally it was race day. We got up at 4:30 am and tried to make oatmeal in our hotel room. It wasn’t great. Then we tried to drive to the start of the race, but all the roads were blocked so we had to go back and walk all the way there. I was in full freak out mode at this point. I thought I was going to miss the race or be late, but we finally got there and said our goodbyes. I went to find the bathrooms and waited in a long line that took forever. By the time I was done, it was time to line up for the race. I didn’t have a qualifying time so I was in the last corral. The bathrooms took forever so I was literally the last person in the last corral. We started running and there were so many people walking that I had to spend a lot of time weaving around them. The first 3 miles were the slowest. I spent a lot of time and energy getting around people. After that I found a good groove until about mile 10. My feet hurt so badly that I wanted to quit. I was so tired and felt awful. Why had I signed up for this? I kept going, egged on my cheers from the sidelines. Slow and steady I continued. Every step hurt so much. At mile 13 I finally saw the finish and sprinted in. I got my medal and had to get taped up and a lot of ice. I hobbled back to my mom and we had to rush because we had an early check out. I was so sore and tired I fell asleep as soon as we got in the car. After the race I was sore for days. I bruised my toenails too. They were so painful! The pain from the pressure would wake me up at night. A few weeks after my race I started running again and had a flare up of pain in my ankle. Despite my challenges, I loved my race experience. I’d caught the bug and wanted more. So I wanted to start training for more races. I’d been having this pain during my training and assumed it was just from increasing my mileage. It turned out I had developed posterior tibial tendonitis from not training properly. I ended up having 6 months of physical therapy to help fix the problem. I had to drop out for several races I’d signed up for. I took a long break from running and focused on changing my diet and working out. Later that year, I was able to get back to running. I had to start from scratch, but it felt so good to be able to run again. Through the combination of running, dieting, and lifting weights I was able to lose 40 pounds. I felt so much better about myself. I wanted to buy clothes and take photos. I felt a lot more like me.
I run to be fit, to stay sane, to get outside, and so many other reasons. Running has become so important to me again, and I hope to share the ups and downs of my journey. Thanks for reading and I hope you follow my blog!this is me 40lbs lighter and much happier