Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Holy Bad Blogger, Batman!

It's been OVER a month since I last posted.  Almost every single thought I've had in the last 2 months has been about my ward's Christmas party that I was put in charge of.  Add tutoring an ever growing list of students to that, and you might not be too surprised at how often I've posted on this blog as of late.  With the Christmas party over and done, I'm back to this blog.  I don't really know what to write.  As far as running goes, I can count on one hand how many times I've been running in the last two months.  I have been exercising though.  I knew that running would be hard to do because of wicked time constraints, so I broke out my old Crunchless Abs videos, which I LOVE.  I've also been to a few Zumba classes, I sprint, literally, between errands to try and burn a few more when I can.  I'm on the hunt for a cheap treadmill too.  Although I hate treadmill running, I need to just realize that when it's not summer, this is what I have to do.  It's not about the winter, it's about how absolutely crazy my life becomes as soon as the first leaf falls.  I do have a spare 30 minutes every once in a while and that's just enough time to get a decent workout on a treadmill.  The hunt continues. 
I did go to a winter running seminar.  It was great and got me really pumped to go winter running.  However, I really don't have the time to run outside, so my pumped attitude rapidly declined.  But then I remembered something from the seminar that I could do.  They talked about winter being a time to maintain and to tone.  So that is what I'm doing.  I am maintaining the muscles I grew over the summer by doing things like my Crunchless Abs videos, which by the way do way more than just abs.  One workout with those videos and muscles you never knew you had are aching.  I'm maintaining my stamina and my cardio fitness by doing Zumba.  So as soon as I get my treadmill, I'm going to work on my pacing and my speed.  So it's all good. And somehow, I've even dropped a few inches and gone down a pant size. 
Winter is winter and being pressed for time is being pressed for time.  I can't change my circumstances, but I can work around them.  That is part of my running story.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Have You Seen What's on my Desk?

Once again I'm late for Monday Motivation.  This post isn't really meant to be motivational, but if you want it take it that way, then great! 

So my days and weeks are getting much more full.  I have a calendar on my fridge to help keep us all in line and it seems as though the majority of the days are full to the brim.  It's either one of my two jobs, or Arik has a meeting, or Rachel has a thing with school or another Ward Christmas Party planning meeting (got put in charge of that a few weeks ago).  It's always something.  This week is the worst.  I have something every single day of the week and most days, more than just one something.  So where do I fit in running this week?  That's the thing.  I don't.  I can't go early mornings anymore because the lack of sleep was really getting to me and I have no opportunites for naps during the day.  I have 4 kids with me at all times during the day, so no go there either.  And even if I could get someone to watch the kids, I need to use any spare moment during the days to work on lesson plans for the kids I tutor.  I normally can't go after Arik gets home because I usually have to head straight out the door to a tutoring session or straight back to my computer to work for 4 hours on my other job.  I can't go after work because by that time it's pitch dark and I don't go running in the dark without a partner.  So what do I do?  Well, I'm too stubborn to quit, so I've had to get creative.

While I haven't been running a lot, I have been active.  I can squeeze in Zumba on Thursdays right after I finish tutoring and Mondays too if I don't have to work.  I can also squeeze in either Zumba or running on Saturdays right before I have to do work on my other job.  I can also usually squeeze in a run on Wednesdays after Arik gets home (not this week though).   At home when I'm cleaning, I move much faster to get my heartrate up and I try and do things to work the muscles.  When I get a spare moment (very rare) I break out my resistant bands and do some strength training.  I also watch what I eat more carefully.  I'm not always good, but I try to make sure the portions aren't crazy, that I eat frequently to keep up my metabolism, and that what I eat is actually healthy.  Lastly, I'm on the lookout on Craigslist for a treadmill for $100 or less.  I hate treadmills, but I'd rather run on a treadmill than do nothing. 

Looking ahead, I know that my days will simmer down a bit and I'll have more opportunities to go running.  But let's face it, the rest of the year is nothing like summer.  Summer is this wonderland of available time and nice weather and few committments.  But for the rest of the seasons, I just have to suck it up and get done what I can. 

In the stage of life that I'm in right now, everything is working against my ability to keep my body in shape.  But young children and multiple jobs won't always be my life.  One day my kids won't need me to be with them all the time and I can say, "I'm going running.  Rachel, you're in charge."  Or I can come home from my one and only job and get in a quick run before dinner. Summers are still the best time I have to really be a consistent runner and so I have that to look forward to as well. But right now, this is my life and I'm going to do the best I can and try not to get too mad about how hard it is to fit in running.   

My mom always told me to do the best that I can and if I'm doing my best then that's enough.  She was normally referring to school.  Nowadays, I apply that to my life in general.   I'm doing the best that I can and so that just has to be enough. 

So I guess if anyone else is experiencing this kind of thing, I'm trying to say, just do your best and that's enough. 

Keep at it and happy running!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Monday Motivation......on a Tuesday

Okay, sorry this is a day late.  But I think it's well worth it.  I've been struggling with motivation lately.  Well, first I struggled with finding time to run (the school year is crazy for me) but then when a window would open up, I struggled with motivation to go and the increasingly cold weather wasn't really helping.  But I walked out the door to go get my oldest from school and the wind was biting.  It was cold cold.  And I got mad.  I got mad at the stupid weather and my time constraints and I got mad that these things were making my decisions for me.  So I went looking for some motivation and found two things.  One was I looked at my most recent post from the Zombie Chase.  At the end of the post I mentioned that I have shaved 10 minutes off of my 5K time.  I realized that I wanted to shave off ten more and that wasn't going to happen if I stopped running.  So seeing my progress over the summer and seeing a new goal gave me new motivation.  Then, I found a video from youtube that I found quite inspiring.  So that is the motivation I will share with you guys.  Hopefully each of you will see your own progress as motivation too.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Zombie Chase 5K

Me and Jana before the race. 
So Friday, I competed in my very first Zombie Chase.  Judging from the name of the contest alone, you can imagine the setup.  Some runners, namely the survivors, get chased by other runners known as the zombies.  I was a survivor.  I chose to be a survivor because the thought of being chased sounded like fun.  It brings back the childhood exhilarance of being chased by your dad who was bound to catch up with you and tickle you until your bladder gave way.  Thankfully, none of the zombies tried to tickle me, but you know what I mean.  I met up with a former co-worker and current friend of mine, Jana Fuller.  We haven't seen each other in a very long time as we've both been busy having and raising babies, so it was super to see her again and even more super to be running a race with her.  We got to the start line and were told that we would have a one-minute head start at which point the zombies would be unleashed. 

This is the survivor with the bat and cigar.
So we start off.  I think I started off at a pace a little faster than normal, but I was going to be chased, so the adrenaline was already there making my legs move faster than I perhaps wanted.  Jana and I were passed by other survivors who took their role very seriously.  One man was decked out in army gear with 6-inch hunting knives strapped to his belt.  Another survivor ran with a duffel bag, a cigar, and a baseball bat.  I don't entirely understand the cigar part of his get-up.  Jana and I were dressed as normal runners.  We didn't even think to dress like these guys.  Then other survivors just dressed up as whatever.  It was a Halloween event after all.  One dude passed us in, I kid you not, a sports bra and a mini-skirt.  He actually had the physique to pull it off, but I'm sure glad the wind left his little skirt alone. 

This is the gentleman in the sports bra and mini skirt
Then our one minute was up.  A bull horn sounded the uncaging of the zombies.  I didn't know what would happen should a zombie catch up with us, but then one did and he just kept going.  And then another one went by and then another.  So apparently they weren't going to "tag" us or slap a zombie sticker on our back, we were just trying to beat the zombies to the finish line.  One thing I did realize about the people dressed as zombies is that they signed up to be a zombie because they knew they were fast.  Even with the delayed start, zombies zoomed past us left and right.  And there were a vast array of costumes to behold.  At some point I passed the zombie Michael Jackson from Thriller all decked out in true Thriller fashion.  Some zombies looked as though they had turned into zombies right after prom.  Others looked just looked gross and thoroughly decayed. 

Michael Jackson look-alike
These ladies win the award for the best zombie make-up
As Jana and I ran on, I realized that she was definitely faster than I was.  I was working harder than I ever have in a 5k.  I kept up with her for the most part, but the last mile I fell behind.  But my goal was, and has ever been, to not stop running.  Slow down...sure.   But stop?  Never!  So I eased up a bit to catch my breath, but I did not stop running.  The tendon in my foot that bothered me in the Nite Lites race started acting up again.  It feels like something is ripping and it always makes me run a bit awkwardly and more slowly.  But when I had a half mile left, I had my breath back and my foot was fine again and so I picked up the pace.  About 200 meters out, I started to sprint.  The final turn into the finish line was on a dirt road with tire rivets and I prayed I wouldn't bite the dust as I was going as fast as I could.  I ran past the finish just as the clock said 26:49.  My last 5k was 3 minutes longer than that, so I definitely beat my best time!  Jana finished about a minute or more ahead of me.  I think she said her time was 25:30 making it a personal best for her too.  I told her that beating my best time was all due to her.  I wanted to keep up with her and so I ran harder and pushed myself.  So I thanked her for the motivation. 

Zombies waiting to come get us
From my first 5k to this one, I have shaved off 10 minutes from my time and I'm thrilled about that.  I did the math and during this race I had a 8:27 mile.  I'm mighty pleased with that and I hope to improve even more with each run.

It was a fantastic last race of the season.  While I'm going to keep running, I'm done with races until spring.  But any time you can run in a novelty race like this, do it!  It makes the run more enjoyable and the memories of it even cooler.   It would have been a bit cooler had we actually been running in the corn maze that was there or if the zombies would actually do something if they did catch up with a survivor, but it was still fun.

UPDATE:  After the final results were emailed to the runners, by actual time was 26:30! 

Jana bookin' it to the finish
I was running much faster than this picture makes me look, I promise.

After the race with the kids.  The boys had pretty much decided that they were done with this silliness.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Monday Motivation

With running, the more you do it, the better at it you are.  Not just in running faster or longer, but in your form as well.  Soon your body will take on the runner's stride and runner's physique.  And the more you run, the better the chances that you will NOT be one of these runners.....

Happy Running!!!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Winter Cometh

First off, my profound apologies for not posting a great deal as of late.  My schedule has reached new heights of insanity, so I'm still scrambling to get everything to have it's place.  So onto the post...

As many of you have noticed, October is bringing winter our way much faster this year.  Fall looks like it'll be shortchanged this year and the snow will reign supreme in a few short months.  So where does that leave the runners?  Do you run in freezing temperatures and over ice and snow?  Do you shell out the big bucks for a gym membership?  Do you obtain every workout DVD made in the last year and set up shop at home?  Do you stop running altogether, afterall, isn't running a summer thing?  It's a challenge I have faced at the end of every summer.  A few times, I was largely pregnant during the winter and so running was kind of pushed aside for those reasons alone.  But here I am, winter beating on my door, I'm not pregnant, and I'm thinking, "What should I do?"

Well, against my natural instinct to stay warm and cozy in my cute, little house, I'm going to try running in the winter.  Given the fact that some winter weather is just not runnable (if that is a word), I intend on backing up my running with a pilates video I have and possibly Zumba 2-3 nights a week.  That's my plan.  I do not want to lose everything I did over the summer to some jerk named winter.  By golly, I'm going to stay in shape, in running shape to be exact, and when the warm weather comes back, I won't be starting over because I never stopped.  I know it will be hard to run in the winter, I know that finding time is going to be even more difficult, but I'm going to try and do my best.  If nothing else, I want to accomplish the feat of just staying in shape throughout the winter.  It seems like every year I go through this roller coaster of being in shape and weighing less in the spring and summer, and then winter comes and I pack on a few and get out of shape.  NOT THIS TIME! 

So I highly recommend that if you live in an area where winter really is winter and not just slightly colder than summer, you need a winter running plan.  Whether it's finally getting a treadmill or a gym membership.  Or whether it's workout videos and quick jaunts down the street and back whilst you're covered head to toe in Gortex (warm coat material).  Make a plan, because add the holidays into winter, and you're about a hop, skip and jump away from temptation city. 

If you do have a winter plan, share it with me.  Comment here or email me at annadurfee@yahoo.com

I plan on getting a whole bunch of winter running clothes and I promise that on my first cold run, I will take pics of the getup. 

Happy Running!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday Motivation

Have you ever told someone you just went for a run and, being funny, they ask, "Why?  What was chasing you?"  Oh, so clever.  Anyway, now you can say, "Zombies were chasing me."
Confused?  What better motivation to run than to have Zombies chasing you?  And you can have that experience if you come race with me on October 22nd in Rigby, Idaho's Zombie Chase 5k.

Not only would you have to train for a 5k, but you'd have to train in order to outrun the Zombies.  I love it!!  But whether you join me in the Zombie Chase or do another race, you'll experience more motivation to get out there if you sign up for a race.  I challenged anyone who read this all summer long to run a race.  But it's not too late if you haven't done one yet.  I bet there is time for 1 or 2 more races before the weather turns south.  And even if you have done a few races already, do another!!  This will be either my fifth or sixth race this year.  Why not just keep racing? 
A race is a way to keep yourself accountable.  It's a way to have a goal in sight.  It's what will get you up in the morning to run or to sneak in that run after dinner.  It's what will prompt you to run that hill versus sticking to your flat route.  So, I want to challenge everyone, again, to sign up for a race.  I would ABSOLUTELY love it if anyone wanted to join me in the Zombie Chase.  If you do sign up for a race, let me know, especially if you sign up for Zombie Chase because I want to run with you!  Get online, look at your community calendar, find a race you think you can do, sign up, and start training.  And pay attention to everything while you race because I'm gonna want a race story.
If you're a local, click on the link to the Teton Running Events Calendar on my sidebar.  They have all the races going on month by month. 

Now, for all the locals that read this and aren't sure if they want to do a Zombie Chase, please watch the following video.  Scroll to the bottom and turn off my playlist before you do though.

Don't you SO want to run from Zombies now?  And if you want, you can sign up to be a Zombie and do the chasing.  Dress accordingly!!

Happy Running!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Table Rock

What better activity to do with those awesome runner legs of yours then to go hiking for 6 hours?  I say, put 'em to good use! 
So last Friday, me, my sister-in-law, and my friend went on a trek to the top of Table Rock in the Tetons.  No doubt most of you have done this same hike or at least heard of it.  The last time I went, I was 16.  I went with a friend and her whacked-out marathon-running stepdad.  The guy was a maniac and basically ran up the whole mountain with two teenage girls in tow.  To put in bluntly...I hated that man by the end of it.  I loathed him with every inch of my tired body.  And could I have moved my legs after we got back to the car, I would have kicked him.   I normally love being outdoors and hiking, but it was miserable to go up the way he did.  We barely stopped to drink water or eat snacks and me and my friend were in so much pain at the end that the entire experienced was ruined.  So that ended up being my lasting impression of Table Rock.  Looking back, my friend and I joke about it, but it still left a bad taste in my mouth.  Then my new friend, Meieli and my sister-in-law, Keersten, suggested that we three climb Table Rock.  It was time to face the mountain again and I was determined to have fun doing it this time. 
We had to be back to Idaho Falls by about 1 or 2 so Meieli could travel with her family to Utah for the Women's Conference.  Needless to say, we had to start early.  We left our homes at 4 in the morning.  We got to the base at about 6am and it was pitch dark.  We knew it would be, so we all packed our headlamps and carried bear spray, just in case.  I was a bit nervous about hiking in the dark and we would be for at least an hour.  But it was the COOLEST way to hike!  First off, it was literally cool, as in the temperature.  Perfect temperature for hiking in my mind.  Second, the woods just seem so mystical at night.  Lastly, the stars!  Oh my, those stars!  I thought I could see them clearly out here in Iona, but you haven't seen them clearly unless you're out in nature, hiking up a mountain. 
And obviously if you're hiking in the early morning, in the pitch dark, you get to look forward to the sunrise.  Not being a morning person, I don't experience sunrises all that often.  This one was neat.  Since our hike takes us east, it looked like we were hiking into the sunrise.  It was beautiful. 
The other really fantastic part about this hike was the company.  Keersten, my sister-in-law, and I aren't just relatives, we're good friends nowadays after spending quite a bit of the summer doing things together; mostly running-related things.  And Meieli, my new friend, is so funny and energetic that it's addicting to be with her.  She reminds me a lot of my best friend throughout high school, Becca.  And that's a good thing, because Becca now lives in Missouri, so guess how often I get to see her. 
So we three girls talked and gabbed and laughed and had a ball.  We got to see some birds that Meieli called "Satans."  I'm sure that's not how you spell it, but it certainly sounded like that's what she was calling them.  They look like minature turkeys.  We also got to see some deer off in the distance.  Luckily, we got to skip out on seeing any bears. 
The whole hike up, we saw no one.  It was stupendous!  When you hike that early, you have the entire trail all to yourself.  Since Table Rock is a popular hike, traffic can get pretty heavy up there later in the day. 
Then, as a reward for all your hard work, Table Rock offers a fantastic summit.  Obviously it's not as high as the Grand Tetons, but it's high enough.  It was actually quite breath-taking to be up there.  We got silly and took some silly pictures at the summit and enjoyed our feat until it was time to head back.  This is when we started see other hikers.  They were all surprised that we'd already summited and they had just begun.  We heard things like "go-getters" and "hard-core" as phrases to describe our awesomeness. 
The way down, for me at least, was much harder than the way up.  There are a lot of loose rocks and so going doing means being careful.  We all slipped a few times, but no major injuries.  As much as my legs burned going up, I think all the soreness I felt the day after was just from coming down. 
So the day ended and we raced back to Idaho Falls so Meieli could join her family on their way to Utah.  Poor Meieli got a speeding ticket.  So, that was lame. 
But the horrible experience from my adolescent ascent up Table Rock has been completely erased and replaced by this awesome experience with two fabulous girls.  I would do it again in a heartbeat!  We even started to make hiking plans for next summer.  I'm so stoked!!

So I say to all you runners (I'm sure at least a handful of people read this) go take your running legs out somewhere and put those muscles to good use.  Go on a hike!

And now enjoy all of our pics from the summit...

Me and Keersten

Keersten and Meieli

Me and Meieli

Yoga Poses!  The is me.  What else do you do at the top of a mountain?

Keersten.  It was kind of scary to do yoga poses where you had to balance like this.  Vertigo big time!

Meieli.  I think she is the only one with any actual yoga experience.

Me again.


Meieli....so graceful.

I can't remember what we were looking at. 

The camera was perched a top two of our backpacks.  Pretty good huh?  This is one with the Grand Tetons in the background....

...and this is one with Driggs (I think) in the background.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday Motivation

Goooood Morning!!  I hope your Monday is going swimmingly.  Mine, not so much.  I've had 3 of my 4 kids puking all over since yesterday afternoon.  But despite all of the vomit fun I've been having, I decided to sit down and get out this week's installment of Monday Motivation for everyone else who slept peacefully last night, not covered in bile.  So, onto the motivation!!!!

I know you've all set a goal for yourself.  We all run because of some goal we have.  But at times, we lose sight of the goal or we start to think that it's just not worth it.  I am here to remind you why you are doing this.  Enjoy!

I want you to keep running or to start running.  You wanna know why?

Because these could be your calves!  You could show off those sexy yams from here to Tuesday if you wanted to. 

I want you to keep running or to start running.  You wanna know why?

Because this guy could stop being your enemy.  This little twerp has been winning the battle for too long!

I want you to keep running or to start running.  You wanna know why?

Because the exhilaration and sense of accomplishment that comes from running in a race, win or not, is too sweet not to experience.

I want you to keep running or to start running.  You wanna know why?

Because we all deserve to be this happy.  Period.

Have a great week running!  Don't forget why you're doing this and soon it'll be hard to remember why you haven't been doing this all along! 
Happy Running!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Let's Share: Jake's Story

Okay, so this isn't a story in the way others have done a story, but it provides a view into another runner's head and that is what I'm after.  Today, I've got you a story from my cousin, Jake.  I noticed after reading some of his facebook posts that he was a runner and a fast one at that.  He uses a app or other program similiar to MapMyRun.com to track his runs and his times and distances always blow me away.  Anyway, he is a fantastic father of two (right, Jake?) and a stupendous person on top of that.  I haven't seen him in years so I can't tell you much more than that.  I do know that he is married to a lovely lady who made me a fabulous apron once upon a time, and it's still my favorite one.  
I wanted Jake's story because I haven't shared much from the guys' standpoint and I didn't want to appear biased.  So here is what Jake decided to share with us.

I just returned from a short 2 mile run which included a loop through a golf course overlooking Bountiful Utah in my Vibram Five Finger shoes. I had hoped to find the Bonneville Shoreline trail and intended to run what I estimated to be three miles of trail and end with a view of Salt Lake City from above the capital building. No such luck; what looked like a trailhead on Google Maps was actually a dirt road blocked off with a chain-link fence and about a dozen no trespassing signs. Still, my run included four things which have very recently helped me get back into running.
  1. My iPod, complete with the priesthood session of LDS General Conference. This is the first time I've listened to General Conference while running, but I generally run with some sort of lecture from iTunesU (most recently, a lecture series on Literary Criticism delivered at Yale), some podcast, some audiobook, or some inspirational speech. I'll still rock out on a run occasionally, but very often I find something that engages my mind and makes me think will carry me much further. It's meditative. I get so focused mentally on what I'm listening to that I almost forget I'm running (in a good way). It's also synergistic, if you'll pardon the buzz word: my running helps me achieve greater mental focus and I feel more engaged in whatever I'm listening to. Aside from the stuff you'll find on the iTunes Store, I recommend checking out the massive catalogue of free audiobooks at librivox.org, the archive at speeches.byu.edu, and TextCast--a nifty app for Mac users that will convert RSS feeds or any other text into mp3 audio.
  2. The Nike+ app. Any old pedometer would do the trick I suppose, but this app gives me a place to record and review my runs. It also means I can get spontaneous and take the road less traveled and still have some idea of how far I've gone. Sometimes that really does makes all the difference; long-distance running can get monotonous unless you're free to explore.
  3. Beautiful scenery. Some of the first runs that got me back into running were through miles and miles of orchards while visiting family in northern California. It was beautiful, and something about the optical patterns made by the trees--at once organic and artificial--was mesmerizing. Also very zen. I love running through farm fields and mountain trails best, but my scenery doesn't have to be natural to be enjoyable. Since I've started working in down town SLC, I've enjoyed a loop through Temple Square, around the Capital building, and through the old avenues in between. All I really need is some sort of aesthetic payoff at least half-way through my run.
  4. My Five Finger shoes. This was actually a huge part of my getting back into running. I was surprised by how liberating they actually felt-my old New Balance running shoes felt clunky and awkward after I started running in the toe shoes. My calves were toast after my first few runs (toe shoes make it more natural to land mid-foot, causing your calves and ankles to flex while dispersing the impact of each step more evenly throughout your body) but it brought back the child-like exhilaration of running barefoot without exposing my feet to sharp rocks etc. I'd recommend them without hesitation.
Blogs like Anna's, support systems, inspirational quotes, mantras, and images, goals: all of these things can be extremely important. I'm sure I haven't tapped their full motivational potential, but what has most motivated me as of late has been simply finding practical ways to make each running experience more pleasurable.

These are the shoes that Jake is talking about.
I never thought to use my iPod to listen to something like conference when I run.  Brilliant idea, Jake!  I also like his running routes.  I am a big promoter of finding and regularly running inspiring running routes and that is exactly what Jake does.  I need to get myself down to Salt Lake sometime and run around Temple Square and the other aesthetically pleasing sites there.  His Five Finger shoes intrigue me as well. I saw them when I purchased my last pair of running shoes, but they looked too weird for me.  But after reading what Jake has to say about them, I'm tempted to give them a try. 

The message that I think Jake is sharing with us is you have to find things to include in your run to make in a good experience.  I completely agree and I agree even more when you're just starting out or getting back into running.  It takes a while for the sport to be pleasing in of itself, and so using different things like an iPod, interesting and bucolic running routes and cool new shoes, help in making each run more enjoyable.  Making running enjoyable will keep you at it.  Wonderful message, Jake!
Thanks for sharing!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday Motivation

I've got a few things for you runners today.  First, a quote I found while reading some running discussion boards.

"I refuse to tip-toe through life just to arrive at death safely."

Don't know who said it, but I loved this quote.  It can be easily applied to running, but to life as well. 

The next little bit of motivation or inspiration, would come from Runners World.  They occasionally showcase a celebrity who is a runner.  I'm not really into doing things because celebrities do, but if you look at them as just normal people telling their own running stories, as we do here on this blog, their stories are quite motivational and inspirational.  So click on the link below (they wouldn't let me embed the video here) and watch.  It's in the middle of the article, so scroll down a bit for the video.  If you keep watching, more running stories from celebs will come up.  Enjoy.

Runner's World I Am a Runner Videos

And finally, I wanted to share an article I found, also at Runner's World.  I find it very inspiring and it keeps me motivated to listen to this woman's story.  Enjoy! 

Shedding the Past

A former fat girl reinvents herself one mile at a time.
By Lisa Delaney  
Image by Jonathan Bartlett From the May 2009 issue of Runner's World
I felt no pain as I rounded the corner onto Columbus Circle, not far from the finish line of the New York City Marathon, my first 26.2-miler. It didn't have anything to do with the gel I'd taken earlier. It was the sound of my name echoing through the streets that made me forget the cramp in my left hamstring. This must be what it feels like to be a rock star making her debut at Madison Square Garden after struggling for years on the club circuit, I thought. I have arrived.

Of course, all runners who crossed the line that afternoon many years ago heard the race announcer call out their names. I wasn't anything special. Or was I?

Five years earlier, I had been 70 pounds overweight when I first stepped onto a dusty, quarter-mile cinder track in Austin, Texas, looking for a way to shed the powerlessness that I'd felt most of my life. At that time, I was the girl who ate until my stomach hurt, who pilfered cookies from the pantry by stuffing them up my sleeve, who never turned down a second helping. I was stuck with a poor self-image and was settling—for a "big-boned" body, for jobs I could do in my sleep, for being the passive partner in my relationships.

That night, on the track, I felt like an intruder. At 5'4" and 185 pounds, I thought I didn't belong. I took comfort in the darkness and decided to start with one lap. This was an exploratory mission, after all. I coached myself to take it easy. As I rounded the final turn, I took inventory: Nothing broken, nothing burst, heartbeat steady (relatively). So I tried another. And another.

I ended up running four laps. That's a mere mile—nothing to a real runner. But for me, it was like crossing four finish lines. Each lap was a cause for celebration, a reason to believe that, maybe, I can. Until then, losing weight had always been about "I can't." I can't have that piece of cake. I can't eat another Girl Scout cookie. But running was already showing me that I could set goals and achieve them. It was one big Yes.

I decided not to worry about my diet at first and just focus on running. I hit the track every night, adding a lap or so a week until I was up to five miles. Within a year, I dropped from a size 16 to an eight. I quit a dead-end job, went for the job I'd always wanted, and practiced saying no to other people and yes to myself. Eventually, I got down to 115 pounds, where I've stayed for about 20 years.

Running has transformed me, inside and out. It's as much a part of my identity as being a writer, or a mother, or a wife—maybe even more, because I truly don't know if I'd be any of those things if I hadn't toughed out that first mile. I still experience those rock-star moments, every time I make it through a 5 a. m. six-miler when I'd rather be in bed, or finish a hard set of
intervals on the treadmill at the Y. There may be no cheering crowds, no medals, no booming baritone announcement. But the finish-line feeling lives on, in my head and in my heart.

Lisa Delaney, the author of Secrets of a Former Fat Girl, blogs at

What I take away from this article is that it's all about that first mile.  She started simply and that's all we need to do.  Just start, whether it be a 15 minute run or a whole mile.  Just start. 

Have a great week running everyone!  Also, some friends and I are hiking to Table Rock (in the Tetons) on Friday, fairly early in the morning.  If anyone wants to join our hiking party, let me know and I'll let you in on the details.

Happy Running!!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Mountain Lion Mayhem

Ever been running with a rock in your hand?  Of course you haven't, that's ridiculous.  But it's also because you've probably never had the fear that a mountain lion might rip out your throat around the next turn.  One had been spotted a few times around these parts.  So what did I do this morning?  I ran with a rock in my hand.  Did I feel stupid for doing so?  Like. An. Idiot.  Was I being a bit paranoid?  No doubt about it.  Did the rock make me feel better?  Marginally.  But did I still put in my long run this morning?  You bet those awesome calf muscles of yours I did!  While the mountain lion that has been sited in and around my neck of the woods has me slightly terrified, am I going to let that overgrown alley cat stop me from running?  Obviously not if I'm willing to run down the street looking slightly awkward as I grip some caveman weaponry in my hand.   A lady passed me and she was running with a dog.  That would make me feel safer for sure.  Perhaps I could borrow my brother's dog, Tank.  He's a sweetheart, but he doesn't look like one.
My brother's dog, Tank.  When he stands up, his eyes
hit me at about my mid-waist.  He's huge!
Thinking back on my run, I'm not sure what a rock would have done to stop a mountain lion attack.  Perhaps I could have lodged it into his mouth before it had the chance to clamp onto my jugular.  Perhaps I could have hit him in the head and temporarily disoriented him while I sprinted to the next house.  Who knows how I was supposed to use that rock, but I carried it anyway.  The conclusion I came to was that I have entered into the crazy runner state.  I should I have realized this when I started running 3 times a week with my sister-in-law at 5:30 in morning.  We have to wear headlamps that early in the morning, and quite often, it's rather cold.  What the heck am I doing running that early in the morning, especially when my life as it is right now gives me no fleeting hopes of a nap later in the day? Now I'm running a few streets over from where the last mountain lion siting was.   Crazy!   Do I wish I didn't have to run that early.  Yes, desparately yes.  Do I wish mountain lions would just stay in the mountains?  Yes, definitely yes.   But I don't like early mornings or big cats telling me what to do.   So I go running when I actually have the time to go and I go running despite fears of being a large animal's next meal. 
Most of you probably don't deal with the mountain lion threat, but many of us have obstacles standing between us and the next run.  I challenge you to bulldoze your way through those obstacles.  Whether they be those 2-3 foot creatures living in our homes, that nasty dog at the end of the block, the darkness of early morning, or thoughts of the day ahead of you.  The one thing that has helped me time and time again is, "Don't think, just do."  If I tried, I could think of a whole bunch of reasons to stay home.  "I'm tired."  "I have to much to do today."  "My legs aren't up for it."  "There might a mountain lion outside my door."  But if I just don't think about all of those reasons, and just do it, I get out there and I'm ALWAYS happy that I did, and I'm ALWAYS stronger because I did.  There are times during my runs when I feel so stellar that if a mountain lion did cross my path, I imagine taking him down like a sack of potatoes and still finishing my run.  What other activity makes you feel like that?  If you go on that run, I promise it'll pay you back ten fold.  Control your obstacles, don't let them control you.  Don't think, just do.

Disclaimer:  I do not, in fact, recommend tackling any kind of animal, much less a mountain lion, and taking it down "like a sack of potatoes." 

Sidenote:  I am purchasing some pepper spray to run with, so you can all stop worrying about me.
(This last bit was added mainly so I don't get worried calls from my mother.)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Let's Share: Heidi's Story

This story comes from a friend I made back in Rexburg before we moved to Idaho Falls.  She was in our ward and her husband was our home teacher.  Her husband could never find his companion to come visit us, so she became his home teaching companion.  It was awesome to get to know her this way and she and her husband are an adorable couple.  She is also the super mom to a cute little boy, Dallin, who is only about a month older than my boys.  She is a technical writer (or was last time I checked) and very talented.  So here is Heidi's story, enjoy.

I have never been a runner in fact if anything I avoided it. I have always struggled with my weight and been heavy. I dreaded PE in school because I hated our daily running laps and the 4 days each quarter that I had to run the mile in middle school were brutal. I even remember playing softball on a girls league and people in the stands would yell at me to run! because they all said I wasn’t moving fast enough which further embarrassed me and decreased my desire to ever be seen running in public. I solved that problem by learning to hit home runs over the fence every time so I wouldn’t have to run in front of people. My dad who was a cross country and track and field star in high school could never understand this about me. I wanted to love to run but I just didn’t.
In my battle with my weight I have done every exercise known to man and even tried running a few times but always gotten in hard core for 3 or 4 days and hate it by the end of the week. After I married the love of my life I was still heavy but not too bad. Within a few years I had packed on 85 lbs with no end in sight – I knew I had to do something. I toyed with the idea of running, like I said I love the idea of being a runner I just hate the running part. I gave up and pursued my weight loss other ways.
Heidi and her husband with little Dallin in tow right after
their 5K.
Towards the beginning of 2011 I decided it wasn’t just the exercise it was my diet – food has been and always will be a passion of mine but it was counteracting all my hard work to lose weight and lets face it diet food is boring!! Something in my mind clicked that perhaps if I couldn’t control and have fun with the food perhaps I could have creative running goals that I could control– I know it sounds totally strange but it was my crazy mind trying to help me. I told my parents that I wanted to set a goal to run a marathon by my 30th birthday (still 4 ½ years away) and they laughed and told me I don’t run!! I told my husband who is as much of a runner as I am and he thought I had gone crazy but wanted to be supportive and agreed to run and train with me. We plunged in doing walks and planned out first 5K. Much to my surprise I would look forward to my daily run on my lunch, my body didn’t always love it but I loved the fact that I was doing it and not giving up. I loved looking at my schedule and saying by the end of the year I will be able to run this far if I just push myself a little harder today. Needless to say when I told my dad I completed my first 5K he was shocked but happy for me.
Then came cute little Anna – someone I haven’t talked to in a few years whom I really admired started a running blog. I nosed around on it one day and just kept coming back. Every time I come back from a run and vow I will never do it again or when my muscles are super sore I browse through her blog until I am totally inspired again and excited to be “one of the runners” J
Somehow it is strangely addictive, I love having the desire to go, I love the time to get lost in my own thoughts, I love how relaxed and invigorated I am when I get back, I love how I can set and achieve goals, and I love being one of those people that people say oh I wish I were a runner. I just have to smile and laugh because I am not a runner … I just run. I am not the fastest and I never will be but I am okay with that I don’t need to be I am competing with myself to be better and to say “I did that”. That has been so much more rewarding than anything the scale says and motivates to keep going back.

I swear I did not tell her to call me cute!  But it's nice to hear anway ;-)  I love Heidi's story and the awesome goals she has for herself.  I'm behind you all the way, Heidi!!!  I particularly love the part where she says she loves "having the desire to go."  Isn't nice to actually want to exercise?  That's half the battle right there!  Thanks again, Heidi, for your stellar story.  Keep me posted on how training goes. 

If you have a story you'd like to share or know someone who does, please email me at annadurfee@yahoo.com

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday Motivation

You have to find motivation/inspiration wherever you can get it.  I found in from a Nike commercial.


Don't you just feel like running right now?  Go out and find your strong!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

5K Foam Fest: Jana's Race Story

My good friend, Jana, competed in the Battle of Nobility Foam Fest this past Saturday, and she emailed me her awesome race story.  Check out her experience!  Thanks for sharing, Jana, again.

I raced today! And, it was awesome!!! I wanted to write while the event was fresh in my mind. The race was called the 5K Foam Fest and it took place at the Sandy Downs Rodeo Grounds in Idaho Falls. In all honesty, I didn't know what to expect and I was nervous! It was my first race since high school about 7 years ago. It involved obstacles such as hurdles (2 sets of about 10), 3 tire towers (1 you crawled underneath, the other two you climbed over), 6 walls you had to climb over (2 of which were about 12-15 feet tall), a 20 foot cargo net, 2 balance beams, a huge mudpit, sand dunes (consisted of about half of the race and mostly uphill!), And of course lots of FOAM!

The race I signed up for started at 10 am. You could choose when you wanted to run Friday or Saturday. Races started every hour from 9 am till 6 pm. I was on a team with my brother-in-law, Paul and a few of his cousins. There were about 40 people who raced with us. I got there 30 minutes before the race and headed to the registration booth to sign in and grab my bag of goodies. As we all stood at the starting line waiting for the race to begin, we were all confused. Where is the race route?! It was shortly thereafter explained to us that we were to follow these tiny white flags stuck in the ground. And, than they began the count-down 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 GO!!! (I started jumping up and down at the countdown because I was psyched to get going! Plus, in Cross Country they usually shot a gun in the air to get you going and that gave everyone good incentive to go!) Off we went! I stayed in the middle of the pack because I have a tendency to want to stay up front at first. I knew that if I started slow, I could find my pace much easier. As soon as we turned our first corner where the spectators could no longer see us, you would not believe the number of people who started walking! A lot of them literally ran 100 meters and stopped completely out of breath! I was so glad I didn't sprint at the start. Ok, I kept telling myself. I can totally do this! Just keep running. Just keep running! The obstacles were pretty difficult-I'm not gonna lie! The mudpit and sand dunes were pretty killer, but I had endurance! And, I was surprised by the number of people I was passing!

When I crossed the finish line I asked my husband what time it was. He said it was 10:38 am. But, he said they didn't start our race exactly at 10. So, I'm guessing I ran the 5k in about 36 or 37 minutes! Not bad for a race that went up and down sand dunes and through a gigantic mudpit for 1.5 miles of the race! But, what my husband told me next shocked me! He said he wasn't positive, but I finished in either 6th or 7th place! REALLY?! I was elated!

What an awesome experience this race was! I would do it again in a heartbeat! What pushed me to keep working those legs of mine was hearing my husband cheer me on! I'm so glad he was there to support me along with most of my in-laws. All you need to do to be a runner = Run! If you would have told me I was going to race THIS particular race a couple months ago and told me I was actually going to be proud of my accomplishment, I would have said you were crazy!
I am SOOOO doing this race next year!!!

Monday, September 5, 2011

More Monday Motivation

So I thought I'd provide more than just one tidbit of motivation.  During my run this morning, I thought of the following mantra:

I will not let this be a passing fad.
I will not let my legs fail me.
I will not return to that couch, to laziness.
I will not accept defeat or weakness.
I will not let this road be my undoing.
I will not let that wall rise up and stop me.
I will not stop running
I will continue, I will go on.
I will NOT stop.

Memorize it.  Say it over and over.  Add your own lines.  Make it personal to you and your challenges.  Scream it at the top of your lungs if you have to.   Just don't stop.  You can do it, you know you can.

Happy Running!

Monday Motiviation

For this beautiful Monday morning, I'm going to give you a quote that I simply love when it comes to running. 

"I always loved running... it was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs."
Jesse Owens
Running is all about the power in ourselves and the courage we have to run that extra mile or run up that hill that has been mocking us for weeks or run against the wind instead of with it.  So, fast or slow, get out there today and show the road what you're made of!
Happy Running!!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Let's Share: Jana's Story

Here is a story from a friend I made while working at Motherhood Maternity.  She just recently had her second baby and is already out there pounding the pavement!  This girl is funny, a fantastic mother, and so fun to be around.  She is currently in training for a 5k for the Battle of Nobility Foam Fest race this Saturday.  I was toying with the idea of doing this one too, but other engagements made that impossible.  Perhaps I can run it next year with her.   Don't worry, though, she is already planning on submitting a race story, hopefully riddled with pictures of her covered in mud and foam.   Enjoy her story and thanks, Jana, for sharing with us!

I attended the largest high school in Texas. By largest, I mean there were over 4,000 kids that I went to school with. Each grade had over 1,000 kids in it. I knew I wanted to do something active and be a part of a team, but getting into soccer or tennis or even cheerleading were next to impossible. The kids that had taken all those spots on teams had been doing those sports since they learned how to walk, so I didn't have a chance. Cross Country and Track, however, allowed a much bigger number of people to join. So, that's how I got my real start in running. I had always been good at track (Wow! I sound so conceited!), but learning to pace myself to run longer distances was tricky at first. Every race in CC is 2 miles (boys and girls race separately). And, it's always in different terrain. Sometimes the race is over rolling hills, sometimes it's in the woods with lots of tree's blocking your view as to where you turn next. It was always an adventure! The heat and humidity were harsh, so we usually had races starting in the early mornings...but, before you even began running you started to sweat. Being a part of a team was awesome! I made so many friends I would not have otherwise met in my gigantic school. And, it was a plus to find a runner or two that had the same pace as me during practice. What motivated me to do my very best each and every day was Coach Gibson. To this day, when I go out for a run, I think of him and all the wonderful advice he gave us. It's easier to have a coach helping you along the way, than to run and stay motivated all by yourself. This is where my husband comes in. He always wants to know how my run went, where I ran, how it felt when I did it etc. He is my secret coach and motivator. (I say secret because I don't think he has a clue.) We even take turns running in the mornings! After I wake up and nurse the baby (we have 2 girls ages 3 1/2 years and 5 months), I run. When I get back, my husband is dressed and ready to hit the pavement. Knowing that he is waiting for me to run first helps get me out the door. On days that he doesn't want to run or is too busy with other things, I find it much harder to go and run anyways! Another motivator is signing up and training for races! I have my first race since high school on September 3rd! It's called the 5k Foam Fest and I'm so psyched about it!! I totally miss the adrenaline rush I would get during a race! And, whats super neat about this race is it involves 2 dozen different obstacles! I'll be sure to bring the camera and have my hubby take lots of pictures to share. I love running. During the periods in my life that I didn't run I didn't feel as good about myself. I know it sounds crazy, but listen to Anna when she says, "running gives you more energy." It's true. It may not be the case when you first start, but your body adjusts so quickly! Making the choice to go running leads to other good choices. I've noticed I want to eat healthier foods when I run because thats what my body craves. Thank you Anna for creating this blog! You definitely encouraged me to start running again after the birth of my baby. I probably wouldn't have decided to begin running again so soon. But, it's been so worth it!

I think Jana has a cool perspective on running.  She's actually been trained by an actual coach before.  Most of us haven't.   She's already shared a few tips with me that she remembers from her coach and they are awesome!  I'm so excited to see the pics from her race.  She is going to have a blast.  I love the part in her story where she talks about her support system, primarily, her husband.  It's so great that there are such people in our lives who will get us going and even run alongside us.  What a great journey she's been on and her story is just proof that you may leave running for a while and for many different reasons (i.e two babies), but it won't let you go entirely and you'll soon find your way back.  Thanks for the story, Jana.  I look forward to your race story and the pictures.  Good luck!!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday Motivation

Okay folks, since I ended my last feature, A Case for Running (and I thoroughly made my case by the way), I've been trying to come up with a feature to take its place.  After hearing from some of you and from looking to my own life for inspiration, I decided that Monday might just be the hardest day to run.  Perhaps I'm wrong, maybe you guys like Mondays.  Here is my theory:  Monday comes right after the weekend.  You probably spent the weekend do something enjoyable while in denial that the weekend would ever end.  Monday comes, the start of a new week, the start of everything...again.  It's like a circle.  It's okay for a while, but sooner or later you're just sick of going around and around and around.  So Monday can leave you with a feeling of sorrow over the lost weekend and annoyance at the repetition of it all.  Feelings like this could easily lead to lower energy or just dulled motivation to go out and run...again.  Thus, Monday could most likely be the hardest day to run.  So, I've come up with a new feature....Monday Motivation! 

Come by my little blog each and every Monday for a tidbit of motivation.  Perhaps it'll be an inspiring quote.  Perhaps I'll just berate you for 3-4 paragraphs and tell you you're wanny for not running.  Perhaps I'll give you the best motivational speech since Aragorn rallied the troops for the last battle in Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Am I a nerd?  Yes, yes I am.)
Whatever it is, I'll do my best to add some motivation to your Monday. 

So for this Monday, I give you this little video I found.  There are parts that are a bit fuzzy, but I thought it was good.


Friday, August 26, 2011

It's Running. What is There is Know Other Than Run?

The title reflects my initial reaction to someone who first introduced me to some running techniques.  I thought, "Running is the most natural form of exercise out there, unless you  consider breathing to be exercise, so what is there to know?"  In fact, there is a few tidbits about technique that I think every runner should know.  As a disclaimer, every runner has a different style of running unique to their own build and body type so take what I've found out about running technique and fit it to you and how you run.

Sit Up Straight!

Or I guess it would be "Run Up Straight."  The point is, keep that back straight.  We tend to want to hunch over as we run, especially as we get tired or toward the end of a run.  This will only make things harder on you.  When I first started paying attention to my posture, I really had to focus hard to ensure that my back stayed straight while I ran.  We're slouchy by nature it seems.  But I promise, running with a straightened back will take the load off of your legs and help you breathe easier.  But if you're not used to it, you need to check yourself every once in a while during a run.  I check my shadow a lot during a run if its to the side of me.  If my shadow is slouched, so am I.  Also, if my lower back is starting to hurt and my legs feel heavy and breathing feels like I'm trying to inflate two iron balloons, I straighten myself out.  Having a strong core is a benefit too.  Your core muscles are what help your spine stay straight and the stronger those muscles are, the straighter you can run.  In the end, I think focusing on my posture has also helped me to have a stronger back and that's just a bonus right there.

Don't Hyperventilate!

This would happen often to me when I first began running.  I would let the run control my breathing and I'd end up taking lots of short, shallow breaths.  The problem with that is that you aren't taking in enough oxygen and aren't expelling enough CO2.  The better method is that you need to control your breathing by taking in deeper breaths once in a while and run at a pace that doesn't leave you gasping.  And you need to use your nose.  Most of us run with our mouth hanging open because we breathe mainly through our mouths.  That's all fine and well, but the best way to get a nice, deep breath is to go through the nose.  For more in depth explanations on breathing techniques check out Running/Jogging.com.


Relax?! Relax?!  How am I suppose to relax when I'm hard at work trying to make it through the next mile?  What I mean by relax is that you don't need to tense up muscles unnecessarily.  During one of my first runs I noticed my shoulders ached quite bit.  Some of that had to do with improper breathing techniques (see above) but it also had to do with tensing the wrong muscles.  While running, resist  clenching your hands into fists, relax your shoulders, and leave your mouth slackjawed.  You'll still have plenty of muscles at work for you, but having too many muscles working for you will only make things harder.  Clenching your hands into fists will tense muscles up and down your arm, leading to sore shoulders.  Relaxing your shoulders will save, obviously, your shoulders, but also your back from unnecessary strain and leaving your mouth open will allow neck muscles to relax during your run.


This is an actual running technique.  I stumbled upon it in all of my running research one day and have been trying to nail it down ever since.  Someone realized that the way most of us run is rather inefficient.  Most of us land heel first.  If you watch someone running in slow motion, it's fairly easy to see.  And it also looks like the person's leg almost comes to a sudden halt with every step.  That's because landing heel first is like putting on the brakes every step of the way.  So someone decided that it would make more sense to try and land in the middle of the foot or the ball of the foot, more like a sprinter does or is supposed to do anyway.  It's takes a lot of practice to do this and I still have to focus quite a bit if I'm going to run the Pose style.  Watch the following video.  They make more sense of it than I do.

I've watched this video countless times to get this technique down.  I still don't have it down, but when I focus on it, I can pull it off for a while but then my thoughts wonder and I slip back into heels first running.  So I'm still practicing.  But when I am doing the Pose method, I feel a load taken off my legs and I immediately run faster with little effort.  So it's worth the practice in my mind.

So there you go.  That's how you run.  I'm sure that there are probably more techniques out there that I haven't heard of or explored, but these seem to be the key essentials and ones that I practice.  Let me know if you guys want to add anything here; things that you may have discovered while running. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Let's Share: Lindsay's Story

Wow, I haven't shared a story from another runner for quite a while.  Could that be because NO ONE responded to my call for stories?!  I know at least 11 people read this blog, and at least half of those people haven't shared already so I should have gotten a few stories.  So I had to go hunting for stories.  Perhaps some of you thought you didn't have a very good story to share or you didn't want to share because you're only just beginning your journey.  Well stop thinking like that and the next time I ask for stories, you get yourself typin'! 

So this story comes from my husband's cousin, Lindsay.  So I guess that makes her my cousin-in-law?  Anyway, she lives in the beautiful state of Oregon.  She is a super mom of two beyond adorable boys.  She is currently training for a 10K in September (I expect a race story, Lindsay!) and since she recently got back into running, I asked her for something to share.  Here is her story.

I have been active all my life. Growing up in a family with a coach Dad that was a former multiple sport athlete, it was only natural that I played in numerous sports. Basketball, football, golf, volleyball, and tennis all seemed to come easy for me. I loved getting out and playing. As a youth, running wasn’t even on my radar. All I knew was I didn’t like to run for the sake of running. Why would anyone run, when they could play a sport? It seemed that with sports, I didn’t realize I was running, but simply having fun. To me, running just to run seemed boring and a big waste of my time. I dreaded the mile run in middle school, not because it was hard, but because it was boring. I surrendered myself to making the complaints that all my friends made on our mile run day.
Once I entered high school, I began to worry more about my looks and being accepted. Soon, running was something I dabbled in. Of course it always ended with me feeling more defeated than ever. You see, I have always been, for lack of a better word, chubby. I am athletic and in good shape. I could stay on the basketball court continuously when my coach needed me without wearing out, but the chub never left. It was my constant companion. I decided running was going to get me in shape, make me skinny! I enrolled one of my skinny friends to run with me. I figured she would help me stay motivated. Sadly, she couldn’t keep up and we ended up walking about 2 blocks to every half block we ran. I remember being so mad. Why was I chubby and she skinny? It didn’t make sense. Next, I asked my thin and athletic dance friend to run with me. Things didn’t go much better. After walking 2 blocks to every one, I was officially annoyed with running, and working out in general! It obviously wasn’t going to work for me!
Sometime between my junior and senior years, I lost some weight (without running), and I felt good. I stayed about the same size until after marriage and baby #1 came into my life. I thought I was doing a good job of managing my weight during pregnancy, but once my little boy arrived and I lost some of the baby weight I was still a whopping 35 pounds heavier than before. I decided to do something, so I ran. I dreaded running. I did it off and on, but my motivation to loose weight made things worse. If I didn’t loose weight after about 2 weeks of running, I would quit, get depressed, and eat. It was an endless cycle. I would drop 3 pounds, get depressed it wasn’t coming off fast enough and quickly gain 3 pounds. I never reached my goal. Two years later my second little guy arrived. As I got ready to get back into shape I realized that I was now 50 pounds heavier than before I had children. I was determined to get back into shape. I tried running, workout videos, and sports. Nothing seemed to work. I was still in good shape as far as stamina, but my body hurt after working out more than ever.
At one point, I decided to do what I called the 3-3-3 approach. I would run 3 miles 3 times a day. I did this for about 2 weeks. I would wake-up in the morning and run 3 miles. After lunch I would run 3 miles and before bed I would run 3 miles. By the end of the second week, I couldn’t move! You should know I have always been someone that pushes the limits. Growing up participating in sports I learned that our bodies can do much more than we believe they can. Sadly, I think I pushed a little too hard.
After many failed attempts at running, and being inactive for months, I read The Running Story blog. Anna and those who shared their stories seemed to enjoy running. What? Who would ever LIKE to run? I decided I would try to run, but I would have a different mind set than before. Instead of running to loose weight, I would run for the sake of running. Crazy eh? I started. The first week was hard. I remember that first day. I ran a mile and a half and felt it was much harder than it should have been. I kept running. The second week started out nearly as hard. I kept running. I found a 10k to train for and made myself a training schedule. Each day, I would check off what I ran. By the third week, looking at the schedule, I could see that I was accomplishing something. Each run was getting easier, and I was going farther. I got some tips along the way from The Running Story blog. The best: run with music. I had NEVER run with music before. The first time I did, it was heaven. I actually ENJOYED my run. It was crazy. I was shocked! I started using Mapmyrun.com and timing myself. I loved that I could see myself improving not only in distance, but also in time. I was making progress. I was enjoying myself and working toward something achievable. Because I have not been focusing on how much weight I am loosing or not loosing, I don’t feel defeated. I don’t have a reason to quit and pout. Setting achievable goals is so important. Goals are good, but they were my crutch before. I could never reach them like I wanted to, and I would feel like a failure. I always loved the quote “Shoot for the moon, even if you miss you will land among the stars.” Sadly, when I shot for the moon I forgot my oxygen tank and fell flailing down to earth with nothing to show for my effort but a bruised ego and a feeling of letdown. I have also learned that I am the only one who can truly motivate me. I am doing what I can, and it feels good.
Before, running seemed like a punishment. Now, running feels like a break. We all need a break. My break used to be going up to my room to read or listen to music to get away from the kids (you all know you need to get away from those sweet little rascals every now and then). Now, I get so much more out of my “break”. I get that much needed time to myself. Time to think, sing, relax, push myself, enjoy myself, keep my body strong and reach achievable goals. I keep running for the sake of running, and it rocks to the moon and back!

I LOVE this story!  And for so many reasons.  The ultimate reason that I love this story is that even after failed attempts to get into running, she came back again and again.  Once Lindsay figured out why she really wanted to run, running became what it should be....fun!  I totally agree with not paying attention to the weight issue.  I was the same way when I began running.  If I didn't see that scale go down, I would scream, "Why I am doing this if I'm not losing weight!?!"  So I too made a decision to forget about the weight for two reasons.  1)In the beginning, you're building so much muscle that you might not lose weight, in fact you might gain some.  2)When you run to feel good rather than lose weight, you'll never be dissapointed.  I also like her point about goals and that the kind of goals we set for ourselves will very much determine whether or not we'll reach them.  Great story, Lindsay!!  I can't wait to hear how her 10K goes.  Racing is the best!  Keep going Lindsay and like I keep saying, I want a race story after you've completed your 10K!