Throwback Thursday : Before I was a runner, I was something else

BEFORE

I don’t know if there’s a neat category to describe myself,  but in the time right before I started running  I was an early 40s , full-time homeschooling mom of a large family, who put all her time, thoughts, and energy into taking care of her husband and children.

I did a whole lot of cooking, eating, and sitting, along with the rest of a busy mom’s day. Before we moved to the country, I was a pretty active mom. I took lots of stroller walks, bike rides, even had a bike trailer to put the kids in. I tried ‘jogging’ around my neighborhood.  I also worked out at a fitness center.  But when we moved to the country and I had two more babies pretty close together and a whole lot more stress, it got much harder to stay active.

By the time my youngest son was 5 years old, I had put on some weight, a lot of weight for a 5 foot 3 inch person. I was just teetering at 180 pounds. But it was crazy how it snuck up on me without me really noticing. I blame much of the weight gain on poor nutrition habits and out of balance hormones. But I also just ate too much and moved too little.

A few before and after running photos

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Top two are before diet change. My thyroid was messed up. Bottom two are after going on a low-carb, then Paleo and gluten free diet and not going back.
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Before and After
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A couple days before giving birth to my last baby, weighing almost 200 lbs. 
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I ran a ton of 5ks when I first discovered running in 2011. This one  turned out to be cross-country  which I was not expecting.  A very hot August race. I placed in my age group because of the low turnout. That ribbon was very motivating for me!
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Just a few of the tons of race medals I’ve collected since 2011. My husband made the medal hanger. 

 

AFTER

It’s no exaggeration to say that running has changed my life. I’m the same person, but much more confident, disciplined, and goal-focused. A few things that have changed are 1) I’ve learned how to do hard things. 2) I’ve learned how to plan ahead and meet goals. 3) I’ve become more social and broadened my view of the world and people. 4) I’ve discovered that I’m not actually lazy. 4) I’m willing to seek advice and try new things. 5) I found a community of people that I relate to very well. 6) I’ve discovered related activities such as hiking and travel that I might never have tried. Running has provided me growth opportunities that I never expected and I highly recommend it!

Running may sound selfish, but I believe running has made me a better mother and wife and person because I am happier and healthier. Before , I was often tired and depressed and resentful that I had nothing in my life that was truly FOR ME.  Running has filled that need to feel like I am not ‘just’ a mom, I’m a person with my own goals and dreams. I’ve  been able to include my family in some of my running adventures. My kids have run a few races and my husband participates quite a bit as either a runner or crew. Without their support, I would not be able to do what I do. There have been times I have had to take a couple of steps back to bring balance into the  running/family equation, as they both take a lot of  time and energy. This has also improved my time/money management and planning skills!

Are you a runner? Has it made a big impact on your life? Or do you want to try it, but don’t know how? I am very passionate about helping new runners. Please feel free to post your questions here.

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4 comments

  1. I was trying to see if you and I have any of the same medals, but I don’t think so. I do, however, see the Houston marathon finisher’s medal in your stack, I believe. Impressive. I was one of those “I just want to break 5 hours” people.

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