Running: Why I Am Starting Over Again and Why I’m Happy About It!

You read that title and said “What? She claims she’s happy about starting over….. again?” Well actually, YES I AM!! I’m starting over for several reasons:

Obvious Reason #1:   It is a new year, a new start, so of course, we are ALL starting over in that sense.

Reason #2:  I have learned that a healthy lifestyle for me is 90% kitchen and 10% exercise, but that 10% is an important 10%.

Reason #3:  I am officially over 30 — yes that’s right – THIRTY pounds lighter than last year at this time.

Reason #4:  I’ve returned to the gym for 5AM boot camp and I’m already beginning to feel stronger.

Reason #5:  I’ve already signed up for the 2018 Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Series again – 8k/half marathon again.

Reason #6:  It’s okay to start over – to push the “restart” button and begin again.

In 2017, I tagged the year #BestYearEver and as usual, I set some lofty goals for myself and the goal that was hitting me right between the eyes was weight loss.  I’ve struggled with my weight most of my adult life – well, maybe not in the 1970’s, but that’s a story for another day…..

I joined a local boot camp right at the beginning of the year and I saw some results.  It wasn’t drastic but it got me going.  There was a bit of a problem for me there though – it was a small boutique type of gym in my neighborhood and it was kind of clique-ish – I just wasn’t feeling it and I sort of fell out. I wasn’t going to pay if I wasn’t going to show up, so after a couple of months, I was finished.

I participated in a few local 5k’s and took my dog on some random runs in the morning but consistency continued to escape me. We all know the truth of the matter is this:

….. and that’s where I was falling short. I flew through the year – The 2017 Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Series was the only half marathon I completed in 2017 and I had some issues that required healing.

I came back and signed up for boot camp at another local gym (Elite Training & Fitness in Port Charlotte, FL).  This time I knew I was definitely in the right place.  I felt the staff’s careful instruction and guidance and concern for our training and overall well being.  I also felt encouraged and built up, and the camaraderie was amazing.  There was still a problem though: I was burning over 500 calories in about 45 minutes at the gym and I felt like I could move the refrigerator by myself, but instead, I was opening the refrigerator, and eating about 700 calories after each class.  Within two months at the gym, I gained over 10 pounds.  Something wasn’t working for me so I stopped going. 

…. and then it finally clicked for me.  On August 1, 2017, we made a serious lifestyle change in our house.  We reduced our carb intake – not eliminating carbs entirely or any crazy fad diet or anything – but reducing the empty and unnecessary carbs we were eating.  We spent a little time paying attention to portion control, and importantly for us, we put our faith in God to help us meet our goal to finally change the way we were living.  We didn’t worry about working out and instead took care of what we were putting in our mouths. 

So the end result is that by the end of the year, I had lost over 30 pounds and I have been itching to get going again.  I talked to the owner of the gym and she guided me to a class that meets 3 days a week instead of 5, they burn about half the calories, but the workout is real.  (I sit here right now noticing how my legs are feeling it from this morning’s class.) I’m already signed up for a few races in 2018, so now is the time to start what I’ve been working toward since last August….. RUNNING!!!

In December, I represented the Run Like a Diva Race Series as an ambassador and just my luck, it was the coldest race I’ve ever run now that I live in Florida.  On the plus side, I ran the Run Like A Diva 5k with my best time since 2012 even with way too many layers on AND A PINK TUTU!!  In fact, each time I’ve been out on a run since I’ve lost some weight I seem to be improving my time more and more, so I definitely want to get out there.  I was even thinking about doing one of those run streaks and run every day starting January 1, but I knew that wasn’t going to put me any closer to my real goal of actually running the 2018 Cleveland Half Marathon with a decent finish time.  Last year’s fiasco sure set the record for my worst time – even when I was first coming back from my car accident in 2012.

The next piece of information I have to share is that for the fourth year in a row, I have the honor and privilege to represent the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon as an ambassador! I’m so honored each and every year I’m selected, and this year will be what I am calling my redemption race! Last year I fell due to my own lack of coordination and I’m not going to let that happen again! I’m going to tear it up and finish with a respectable finish time! I can feel it already!!

The beauty of it is that life here on this earth offers us a restart button every single day when we wake up and today is Monday, January 8, and I’ve pushed the reset button. I hit the gym this morning, and I’ll do a little running tomorrow.  I’m not going to try and run ten miles my first time out or anything crazy, but I’m going to try and be smart, stay injury-free, and enjoy 2018! I think the hashtag for 2018 for me will be #NextBestYearEver and I’m going to make that happen!

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