On the Eve of the Miami Marathon
It is the eve of the Miami Marathon - the biggest runner's event in town. It's also the first time in my life that I will participate in a sporting event this size - albeit, I'm running the HALF, not full marathon!
I never considered myself to be an athlete of any type. Growing up, I practiced gymnastics and always loved swimming & riding horses, but once I became a parent, my focus was on my twins and supporting them in their sport(s) of choice. So it was interesting to find myself as an empty-nester, exploring different physical activities for myself first before any other hobby, to fill my time.
Running was not my first choice! In fact when I was approached by a friend to run with her I told her she was nuts! Why would I ever want to run anywhere?! Her response: "Because it's fun".
So here you have me, 2 years later running my first half marathon, incredulous of the journey I've been through to get here. Never, EVER would I have seen myself running a half marathon, or running at all for that matter. That was something 'others' did! You know... the 'real runners'.
The biggest shift I made throughout my journey has been my nutrition. I spent the last 10 years struggling with my weight and watching the pounds pile on despite all my efforts. It could have been metabolism changes, stress, long work hours and very little exercise....or too much exercise and not enough nutrition. In the end, it took a full change in HOW and WHAT I was eating to jolt my body into fat burn and finally see the weight come off, to the tune of 48 lbs in 8 months.
Here are some of the steps that I took to regain my sense of health and venture into the runner's world:
I started eating 100 calorie fuelings (not meals) every 2 hours, 5 times a day and had one 500 calorie lean and green meal for a total of 1,200 (maximum) a day.
I set an alarm for every 2 hours to remind myself to eat. This helped retrain my brain and metabolism.
I challenged myself to drink more water. The easiest way to accomplish this has been by drinking 1 full 8oz glass as soon as I wake up, having another with breakfast, and carrying a 16oz bottle with me at all times.
I stopped stressing about the number on the scale and focused on making it through the day - one day at a time.
I got creative with my choice of 'greens' and began to include a variety of vegetables including sprouts. This simple act opened up a whole new world of flavors I didn't even know existed!
I worked daily on self-development seeking out books, podcasts, TedTalks, FB groups, IG influencers, and new friends who helped me shift my mindset and open myself up to the possibility of a different lifestyle.
I downloaded an app for newbie runners off of Audible and began to look forward to walking/running with the support of the Coach in that app. After finishing that app, I graduated myself to the Nike Run Club app (which is free!) and started listening to all the guided runs which eventually prepared me for my first half marathon.
Looking back, it was a lot of little things that combined have gotten me to where I am today. More importantly, it was the simple act of not giving up on myself and changing how and what I was feeding myself that really impacted my body and showed me that regaining my health was completely possible.
So this weekend I will run, not to prove that I'm healthy or that I'm a runner, but to celebrate life and enjoy this journey for as long as it lasts.