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 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!  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!

1 comment:

Robyn said...

Thanks for this story!!!! My motivation has lacked recently, or maybe its just that we've been doing so many activities my running schedule got WAY off, but I see that no matter what happens, running is always there- no memberships, nothing holding you back (maybe a snowstorm...) and I learned that I definitely NEED MUSIC. I run with it off and on, but I think after reading this, and hearing described as "heaven" I need to make it priority! THANKS!