So excited to continue this series on discovering fitness options for your New Year's Resolution considerations. About five years ago, I was training for a marathon when I found out that I was pregnant with my first child. At the time, I was in the best shape of my life and my base of fitness helped me to have a very healthy pregnancy...so I'm partial to running- though my husband says my pace is only slightly faster than a speed walk:)
But enough about me and back to running, let me tell you a little about why Cyanne Demchak is the perfect guest post for our blog on running. Some of you may remember her as the winner of our 500 Likes giveaway, with her comments on the scrub: "My skin feels so amazing this morning. Thank you Lisa and Wailani's. Loving my pumpkin scrub :) " You also might remember that I shared that her blog, Run Stretch Go was doing a giveaway of a free three month music subscription to RockMyRun.
You won't be surprised that her personal passion for healthy living is matched with her career at a company in the health industry. She cemented her love for running by completing her first half marathon in 2009, maybe another reason beside our time together in grad school and the fact that we both have two masters degrees that I feel a kinship with her. I love following her healthy recipes on Pinterest, because I know she's always cooking to support her healthy and active lifestyle. I am so excited to share her story about how she developed her passion for running. I hope you find it as inspiring as I do to dust off my running shoes and get out there.
Learning to Love to Run
Growing up, I was always borderline overweight. I hated running more than just about anything (although onions, mushrooms, and lettuce were also hated pretty heavily). I ran when I was forced to in gym class, as warm up or punishment in sports. My one exception was running foul lines in tennis. For some reason, I loved those things. Otherwise, my general thoughts on running can be summed up in 4 words: "do I have to?"
After college, I had gained a lot of weight, and remembered how quickly I lost weight in high school when I had to run every day in gym class. I started an intense multi-hour workout plan that included running a mile or two every day. I didn't love it, but I hated it a little less. I continued to run just a little for about 2 years, and then I got severe plantar fasciitis and landed in a boot for 6 weeks in the middle of summer in DC. I gave up running not long after that.
Fast forward to grad school, and another point in time where I had gained some weight. I began seeing ads for the Pittsburgh Marathon and Half-Marathon, which was being brought back after almost a decade, and race day was 2 weeks before my graduation. I decided I wanted to run the half. I signed up, I found a training plan, and trained. For 12 weeks, I was religious about my training, although I did almost half of it on the treadmill, and was more proud of myself for crossing that finish line than I was for receiving 2 masters degrees a few weeks later.
Over the course of the next 4 years, I'd complete 3 more halfs, with about 4 months of no running after each race. Then, in January, I moved to a new place, where I knew no one, and decided to train for a spring half. It was a way to keep myself in shape, not focused on everything that was going on in my life, and literally take time up in my day. Over the course of the spring, every run made me happier, stronger and more confident in general. After that half in April, I signed up for 3 more over the course of the year, and ended up signing up for my first marathon which I'll run on January 12th. This year I will have run 12 races total; I've run in 12 states; and I've set 4 PRs. At some point this year, running went from being a hobby, or a way to exercise, to being part of who I am.
I am a runner. I love how it makes me feel alive (and sometimes reminds me I'm alive because I'm in pain). I love how it makes me focus on what I eat, because you can't run 20 miles on Sunday if you ate crap for the rest of the week (or you'll regret it, at the very least). It makes my body strong, but it's made my mind stronger. Now, I have to be told not to run. If only Mrs. Vining could see me now!