Let me begin by saying there is absolutely nothing special about me or earth shattering in my experiences. I am not a running expert. I am a 49 year old woman who began running at a few months before my 48th birthday. I do not run competitively, I have no desire to. Typically, I do not run with others, I run alone or with one of my 6 dogs. I run slow. However, I do LOVE running. I also love to read the blogs of other runners and I am constantly researching different running topics.
One thing that I have discovered in my searches is there are not a lot of blogs for those of us who just love to run for the sake of running. All of the blogs I follow are written by elite runners or those who race. Folks who are training for a marathon or 1/2 marathon, or have already ran several. I love reading their stories, but I cannot relate to a lot of what they are saying. So, maybe there are others out there like me?
A little background information on how I got here. I had never been “fat”. I had never been terribly skinny either. I am a large boned, curvy woman. Over the years the weight began creeping on. Every few months I would start a new weight loss plan. I would walk, I bought an elliptical, I bought a stationary bike, my niece gave me a mountain bike (which I promptly crashed, you really can forget how to ride a bicycle), I dieted, a friend developed a work out plan for me. Nothing stuck. I would work at it for a few weeks or a couple of months, lose 10-20 pounds and then stop. And then gain 20-30 pounds.
My dad died in 2011 after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. I was absolutely heart-broken. He and I were very close. I am the youngest of 4 and the only girl, so naturally I was a Daddy’s girl. He had a way about him, you could tell him anything and he could always help you work through whatever it was. He couldn’t solve all my problems, but he always put a positive spin on things and when I left him, I felt better. With him gone, I was lost. I had lost my confidant. So I drowned my sorrow in food.
In 2014 I found myself toping the scales at over 240 pounds, wearing a size 18. That would be fine if I was 6’6″, I am not, I am 5’7″. I was not in bad shape. My husband, Phillip and I are both school teachers and we operate a farm, so I spend a lot of time outdoors doing farm work. I walked a lot, but I also ate a lot. Mostly junk. Little Debbie was my best friend and I visited her often.
I live in a rural area of Arkansas. A few years ago some friends and I started The Bethany Project. It is a non-profit and our goal is to help folks who need a little assistance in our community. We have events where we give away baby clothes and diapers, at another event we give away school supplies, and in the fall we give away coats. We also have a Community Christmas lunch on Christmas day.
Our community is poor, so to raise funds for our events we hold an annual 5k run, The Melon Dash 5k. Each year a few months before the race, my friend and Bethany Project co-founder Ashley begins promoting a running app (Ease Into 5K) that gets you 5k ready.
In June of 2014 Ashley began encouraging people to sign up for the race and for those that weren’t currently running, she urged to try the app. It had never entered my mind that I should do it. I hadn’t done any running since I played basketball in 9th grade. I had knee surgery 15ish years ago and the doctor said then I couldn’t ever run. Wasn’t a big deal, I had no desire to ever run. But I was miserable. I would avoid old friends because I was so ashamed of my weight gain. I read that wearing a scarf made you look thinner because it took attention off of you and on to your scarf. I bought a closet full. I also read that big hair made you look smaller, since I am southern that was another reason to poof up my hair. Finally I had had enough and on June 26, 2014 my journey began and my world changed….