Thursday, March 19, 2009

Why I Started Running

Quick synopsis of Yesterday's Run

Yesterday I ran a little over 4 miles and then biked some at the gym. The wind was pretty fierce outside so I decided to go to the gym rather than attempt an outdoor run. My legs are still a little sore from running outside but I'm sure they will be good as new with a few more outdoor runs on them.

Why I started Running

I recently read a bunch of stories on Steve's blog that made me think about my story. Why did I begin running?

Really, it started with a broken heart. I asked my high school crush to prom and he denied me. I felt that it was because I had gained weight and was a shocking 210 pounds. I felt that I needed to lose the weight. Not particularly to get the crush to like me, but to get any guy at the time to like me. Kind of a silly reason now, but one that at least motivated me to get moving.

I started with walking on the treadmill. I quickly realized that I wasn't a walker and that walking wasn't helping me lose any weight. I moved up to running on the treadmill pretty quickly, a little too quickly. My knees killed me instantly and I thought it was the treadmill. My mom took me into the doctor and she told me I needed to keep going. She gave me a prescription that aided in my weight loss and I continued on my way.

I ran at least 5 days a week for at least an hour on the treadmill for months. I quickly started to see the pounds shed off of me. I went from a size 18 to a size 10 by the end of it all. People at work started to notice my weight loss and asked me how I did it. It seemed so easy to me. Just run on the treadmill. I was already a pretty healthy eater but I cut back on my portions. When I went to college, my doctor took me off of my medication. She told me that I was a special case and that most people don't ever find the motivation to actually lose weight. She told all of the people at the clinic about me (my mom works there as well so she saw her often).

When I started college, I found the time every now and then to make it over to the gym. I would battle the crowds to get on the treadmill with a 30 minute time limit. I was always frustrated that I couldn't just run for an hour like I did at my parent's house. My gym visits cut back as I got busier and busier. Somehow all of the walking around campus still allowed me to lose even more weight. I was finally happy in my own skin.

Later in my college years I started to notice a small amount of the weight come back on. Maybe at the most 5-10 pounds. I didn't feel comfortable and so I decided to join Anytime Fitness rather than dealing with the University's gym. I started to run more and more. I began reading about running and started to really enjoy it. Last year, I took my runs outside. I loved the spring air and the smells of flowers blooming. My speed increased and I started to really feel like a runner. I started running in races and became completely addicted. I loved to get ready for a race. I quickly increased my mileage and went from a 5k to a marathon in one year. The distance increase was probably way too quick, but I yearned to finish the marathon. I wanted to prove that I could do it. And there is no feeling that compares to crossing the finish line of your first marathon.


EmLit said...

Thanks for sharing your story, Rachel! It's always nice to learn more about a fellow blogger/runner. And congratulations on losing all that weight and keeping it off for so long, that's a huge accomplishment :)

Irish Cream said...

Awesome post, Rachel! Thanks so much for sharing this story . . . I'm still amazed by how quickly you moved right into the marathon! And I couldn't agree more about the feeling of crossing the finish line!

kch said...

Great story...and what a great doctor you had, telling you that you needed to continue your running and using you as a positive example to others.

Anonymous said...

Great story; so cool that it was really all on your own. Just like a thought you had one day!

*jen* said...

Wow. That was incredible, you are such an inspiration! Thanks for sharing! :)

The Alien said...

That's an amazing story, and an amazing accomplishment for you!!! By looking at your blog pics and how determined you are when you run I always thought that you were a thin girl that had been running her whole life.

Amy said...

Thanks for sharing this post! I really enjoyed reading and learning more about your running. Hope your running continues to go well!