Saturday, December 8, 2012

2 Years

2 years ago today, I ran my first race.  It was the Jingle Bell Run in St. Petersburg, FL.

I was fat.

I reached my peak weight of 284 pounds in the fall of 2010.  My life was in an incredible place - I was in the midst of earning my master's degree, living this adventure filled life in Florida.  Life was great.  But I wasn't happy.  So I started running.  And by running, I meant elephant-stomping my way to a quarter mile.  Yes, a quarter mile.  That was my first run in years.  I never considered myself a runner, but at several points of my life it was a way for me to lose weight, most notably during high school and then again during college.  That quarter mile in late 2010 was one of the most eye opening and reality checking moments of my life.  How did I let myself get there?

It's crazy to think of how different my life is from that moment, and how much my life has changed.

And I owe a lot of that to running.

On December 8, 2010, I ran the race with a bunch of friends on the St. Petersburg Pier.  When I signed up, I made a goal that I would run a 5K every month for a year.  A goal that I knew I would not reach.  That night, as thousands of people were gathering toward the start line, I felt a sense of rejuvenation that I had not felt in a long time.  As I plowed my then-260-ish-pound body through those 3 miles, I knew that I was headed down a road that would set me up for success for a long time.  When I crossed the finish line, my life changed forever.

In one moment, I realized that this is something that I want to do for the rest of my life.

I am not a runner.  At least, that's what doctors have told me.  This is something I should not be doing.  But this is something that has saved my life.  Or at least the overall quality of it.

I run to free my mind and soul.  I run for the love of it.  And nobody can take that feeling, meaning, and passion away.

So here I am, 2 years later.  60 pounds lighter.  400+ miles later.  I have ran a whole lot of 5Ks.  A couple 10Ks.  A 15K.  A Tough Mudder.  A half marathon.  And coming in 2013: a marathon.  And that streak that I never thought I would accomplish is still alive.  I have ran at least one race every month since that December day, and I plan to for as long as my body will let me.

As I reflect over the past 2 years, I am in awe of how much my life has changed and will continue to do so... step at a time.

Some highlights of the 2 year journey:

Races:  31
First Race: Jingle Bell Run - St. Petersburg, FL - December 8, 2010
Fastest 5K: Run for the Door - Denver, CO - May 12, 2012 - 27:26
Favorite 5K: The Color Run - Denver, CO - May 26, 2012
Coolest Race:  Fans on the Field 10K - Denver, CO - Sept 25, 2011
Most Scenic Race: Canyonlands 5 Mile - Moab, UT - March 17, 2012
Most Memorable Race: Colorado Half Marathon - Ft. Collins, CO - May 6, 2012
States raced in: Florida, Minnesota, Colorado, Utah
Hottest Race: Red, White, and Boom! Twin Cities 5 Mile -Minneapolis, MN - July 4, 2012
Coldest Race: Christmas Day 5K - St. Paul, MN - December 25, 2011

To see some of the running milestones, visit my running page.

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