Friday, January 10, 2014

A New Perspective

Two years ago marked the start of a journey I could have never predicted. At 160 pounds on my 5’3” frame, I was not ‘obese,’ but was certainly considered overweight. Robert and I had just gotten engaged at Walt Disney World at Cinderella’s Wishing Well, so I began running to lose the extra pounds I had been carrying for far too long. Running at this point was nothing more than a means to an end – to feel beautiful on my wedding day later that year.

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After a month of frustration and seeing little result, I decided to also sign up for a strength training boot camp (Shaped Bodies Fitness here in Houston, TX). This group helped me to see exercise as more than work, but as fun – plus I made some amazing friends in the process, one of which is my runDisney buddy! With running and strength training showing more promise in the results I craved so badly, I began to revamp my diet as well.

Me and Stacy, my friend and runDisney travel buddy!DSC02486

Another month later, I found that I really enjoyed running, and soon after discovered runDisney. I immediately knew that I had to run the Princess Half Marathon the following year. There was only one problem – I had never, ever run further than 3 miles, and even that was tough for me at this point.

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Nevertheless, I began running for a new reason – to finish a half marathon. I don’t remember the specific day or time that it happened, but I vividly remember the feeling I had when I crossed my 3 mile threshold. It was pure elation, pride, and astonishment! Every week that I ran longer than 3 miles, or when I ran longer than the week before, was a new and great personal triumph, and although I never really thought of myself as a ‘real runner’ until later that year after my first race, I still knew that I had that ‘runner’ gene within me.

Finishing my first half marathon (purple outfit with pink compression sleeves)!DSC02753

Over the following months, I lost 35 pounds and felt beautiful on my wedding day. Of course I was ecstatic about achieving my original goal, but my ‘diet’ mindset had completely shifted. Through a love of running, I found a new lifestyle of being healthy and active, and I wanted to take care of myself and push myself further every day.

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Two years ago, if somebody would have told me I would run a half marathon, I would have told them they were crazy.

One year ago, and even one half marathon into my journey, if somebody would have told me I would run a full marathon, again, I would have told them they were crazy.

Yet here I am, training for my first full marathon, and surprising myself week after week – crossing new mileage thresholds and realizing my own inner and outer strength!

Even in these great realizations, however, there is a setback. The fact is that I do still surprise myself, and so I intend to take on a new perspective – to go run these new distances with confidence rather than intimidation, and to never think that any race length is too crazy. You never know what the future holds!

QOTD: Do you feel intimidated by new running distances?

10 comments

  1. This is a beautiful story Lauren! I am loving this quote you posted ( and I can't wait to tell you why)! I certainly am going to have to find a copy of this because this is one I want to frame! ~M

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    1. Thanks, Meranda! I love the quote too - it is SO true!

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  2. That quote is so very true! The biggest mental shift for me in terms of how I viewed myself and how I viewed running came the day I decided to sign up for the Princess Half Marathon. Apparently I make lots of big decisions in my life the day after my birthday! Great post!

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    1. It really is a great quote! It seem as though the Princess Half really affects a lot of lives in a great way :)

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  3. I so needed to read this Lauren! Ten miles tomorrow for the first time ever and I hope to surprise myself and keep surprising myself! Great post!

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    1. Thanks, Karen! I hope your 10 miler went amazingly!

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  4. I loved this post! Tink will be my 8th half and I'm comfortable with halves because I know I can do them, but I've been toying with the idea of a full for awhile now.
    It might be about time to push the limits again.

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    1. Awesome, Summer!! There is always the Disney full in 2015 :)

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  5. Thank you for sharing your story! Very inspirational! I admit that I am intimidated by new distances, probably why I haven't run a full marathon yet. Even the thought of 20 miles freaks me out! But... I am getting over that fear- I want to do the WDW full next year. :)

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    1. Looks like the WDW Marathon weekend in 2015 is going to be popular again - I bet it will sell out in a day!

      I'll see you there next year!

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