i have become a runner

most of you probably do not realize the massive significance of this blog title.  for as long as i can remember, i have hated running.  HATED. RUNNING.  i even hated soccer because of all the running.  interestingly enough, it’s not that i found running boring or repetitive or something and that’s why i hated it.  nope.  i just found it to be a really unpleasant means of exercise, particularly on my lungs.  my lungs would always give out before my legs would, which i also found frustrating.

until now.

ladies and gentlem- um, who am i kidding? guys don’t read this blog.  ladies, i have become a runner. 

but this did not happen overnight.  oh no.  this has been a slow progression of 5+ months.  and actually, it started nearly a year ago…

shortly after we moved to pasadena (end of march last year, so… 11 months ago?), i came to the startling realization that i weighed more than i had ever weighed in my life.  not drastically more.  but still… more.  not that this should have been shocking.  i spent 8 weeks in oklahoma baking & eating, sitting & sewing, sitting & reading, sitting & crafting, and sitting & watching netflix.  ok i did hit up the little church gym across the street a handful of times and that was decent, but not enough to overcome all the eating and sitting i was still doing.    despite my husband’s assurances that he still found me attractive and beautiful, i was further from a healthy weight than i was comfortable with.  i could see it and feel it. i felt a little too soft and squishy all over.  i had less energy.  i found myself more easily winded.  plus, i’m less than a year away from turning 30 and also, Lord willing, entering child-bearing years.  my body needs a running head start and all the help it can get to become and stay healthy!

first step – eat better (and less).  my cousin told me about the MyFitnessPal app – an iphone app for counting calories (also has a free website if you don’t have an iphone).

i downloaded it and got to work.  it’s a GREAT app!  i personally counted calories in a strictly natural way.  meaning i didn’t drink diet soda or sugar-free lattes simply because they were a lower/no-calorie version of what i wanted/liked.  my overall goal was to slowly healthify my lifestyle with foods closer to their natural state.  so if i wanted something with sugar in it, then i got something with sugar in it.  i just had to sacrifice in other areas or work out more in order to “afford” it.  unfortunately, since i wasn’t crazy overweight or anything (again – only looking to trim off 15lbs), my daily calorie limits were just under 1300.  yikes!  talk about motivation to exercise!  since my focus at the beginning was on the food end of things, i pretty much only exercised enough to enable me to eat what i wanted, haha.  hiking and walking were my main choices of burning calories.  i also have this Jillian Michaels DVD (not going for a six-pack by any means – it just has some great core and cardio workout) that i did once a week or so. 

and i saw change!  it was really exciting!  the first 5 weeks – 5lbs came off!  the 2nd 5 weeks – another 5lbs came off!  it was crazy encouraging!  i could see and feel the difference all over.  pretty much all of my jeans became baggy and practically unwearable.  i literally had to buy a handful of new clothes. 

and then i plateaued.  5 more weeks with no change on the scale.  hmmm.  “well, i’ll give it 5 more weeks and see what happens.”  5 more weeks went by and the scale didn’t move.  i was bummed, but decided to be ok with losing 10lbs.  i mean, it still put me back at a much healthier weight – just not quite the ideal goal i had hoped for. 

after thinking about that particular disappointment, i decided to shift my direct focus off of food and onto exercise.  away from the weight-loss and onto building strength.  this is where the running comes in. 

the fact is: running is free.  and it’s good cardio.  plain and simple – those were my reasons for doing it.  well, that and living in SoCal you can actually run – outside – year round and not die. 

so i started jogging.  aaaand pretty much hated it.  but it needed to be done.  so i kept at it.  my goal was twice a week.  and i stuck with it pretty well!  for me personally, i am my own best motivator.  once the need has cultivated the appropriate level of desire, the motivation is there for me. i downloaded the RunKeeper app, made a playlist and went on my first run.

even though i still gasped for air the whole way and could barely make it 1 mile, i kept at it.  for 4 months.  and then… something clicked.  i have no idea what happened but it was like my body turned a corner and suddenly the “hate relationship” i had with running became “LOVE-hate” (i still would rather sit on the couch than read, i mean c’mon).  my body started to crave it.  i started to experience that “hitting your stride” thing that runners talk about.  my legs give out before my lungs do – which has NEVER happened before.

oh and you know what else?  those last 5lbs melted right off.  (duh.  you can only lose so much JUST eating healthy.  you gotta move!)

i can’t even explain it.  it just happened.  now, i actually look forward to running.  i regularly run 3 miles.  sometimes 6 total if i run down to Nicole’s house, hang with her for a couple hours and then run home (maybe once a month).  and i’m actually – nobody freak out – looking into finding a 5K race to run as a goal to work up to over the next several months.  whaaaat?  who AM i????  ok ok, i know that running 3 miles and working up to a 5K isn’t all that impressive compared to real runners.  but it’s huge for me.

this is huge for me:

so yeah.  i have officially become a runner.  in the words of Flynn Ryder, “who knew, right?!”


3 thoughts on “i have become a runner

  1. Glad that running has been such a source of joy and health!! I too, have the love-hate relationship with running; I hate it while its happening and I love it afterwards when my body is loose and I’m riding high on endorphins!

  2. That’s awesome, Andrea! I had to giggle when you said, “I pretty much only exercised enough to enable me to eat what I wanted”! Um, sad to say that I have done that so many times! Also, I totally LOVE that you quoted, “Tangled” too! : ) I’m on a health journey myself & I’m so happy for you! I don’t quite love running yet. It’s more of a “I want to glorify God, bless my Hubby, be a good example to my girlies & grow old with my precious family” motivation right now, but hopefully I’ll get there. Praying for your “child-bearing” years to be very soon! : )

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