Body, fitness, Inspiration

Running… Some Motivation Required

Featured Photo Credit (http://www.iloverunningmagazine.com/inspirational-running-video/)

For looks, for health, for sanity… continuing an exercise program or sticking to a training regimen takes discipline, commitment, and motivation. Why are we here at FreeFlyinFemale insane enough to try a Spartan? Let’s talk our reasons for running… 

So, at the time that I’m actually writing this – it’s a month before we run our Spartan Sprint on May 21.

The first organized competitive running event thing that I have ever done. I’ve never even run track. I was a tennis player in high school and still am today. And I would just like to take a minute to look back on the last couple of months and share my accomplishments with you.

Now, you’re probably going to laugh but, my first big accomplishment was running (jogging) for 10 minutes, without stopping! Yep. I had never run that long, continuously, in probably my whole life.

See, I always “cheated” in PE when you had to run a mile in 12 minutes. I figured out I could run a lap, walk a lap, run a lap, walk a lap & maybe jog the last little bit if the coach looked annoyed or was yelling (as coaches do). And I would be done pretty much right at the 12 minutes.

I did have to run, occasionally, for tennis. There was this one year that our coach was trying to lose pregnancy weight and was training for a marathon so she had us running with the cross-country team every other day…I “cheated” on that too. I didn’t take short-cuts but I didn’t run the whole time. I stayed with my group of non-runners and we set goals…”Okay, let’s run to that stop sign and then we’ll walk to the next stop sign, then run to so & so road”. We had like 30-45 minutes to go through whatever course it was…no biggie. The kids that finished early had to walk the track for the remaining time – how boring is that?

So I was ecstatic when I ran 10 minutes and didn’t die. It actually felt good. And last night, I ran 1.50 miles (#bamwhat). I didn’t stop, I was breathing good, my legs didn’t cramp (this has been an issue), and I probably could have kept going (maybe I should have?). If you had asked me last month if I thought I would actually be able to run that far and not be dying, I would have laughed in your face.

You may be asking yourself, “why did she want to run a Spartan of all things when she’s never done anything like this before, why now?”

Well…hell if I know. I guess there’s a couple of reasons…I want to get in shape. I want to be healthy. I would love to lose weight and feel comfortable in a bathing suit like I did eight years ago when I met my husband. Maybe the biggest thing is that I want to be able to say that I have done something. It’s not world changing but I mean…after graduating from college and not finding the job of my dreams and not really even being able to go after my dreams because of where life has lead me…I need something. Something for me.

I know, the Spartan is more than just running. Don’t worry, I’ve been hitting the gym too! The husband and I got a membership at Planet Fitness – it’s just harder for me to get there than it is for me to find time to run, but I have been building muscles!

FYI – I have lost 1″ in my waist and gained 1-2″ in my biceps, thighs, and calfs. (and the crowd goes crazyy)

-Morgan

~*~*~

Less than a month now before the Spartan Sprint. I was never a runner before a few years ago. The most “running” I did was the short sprints on a tennis court in high school, and during undergrad, I wasn’t incredibly active (unless you count the dance floor, HEEEEY! But seriously. I’m super white, lol). 

I first started running seriously in 2012 or so. I started a Couch to 5k app after realizing I was 14 lbs away from 200. On my frame, that’s not healthy. I also decided to start exercising because of my mental health. I tend to suffer bouts of depression (never clinically diagnosed). At that time in my life, when I stepped on the scale and got smacked in the face with reality, it had been 2.5 days since I’d been outside or talked to anyone and most of that time was spent in bed watching Netflix or sleeping. There was definitely some serious issues. 

I decided for my health, I needed to make changes. I am not opposed to prescriptions or therapy, but I AM poor, so I first started with making changes in my every day life. I began to eat better, sleep more, work out. Slowly, not just my body but my attitude and outlook began to change. 

In 2014, my friend and I trained for a half-marathon running with The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training program. You commit to fundraising a certain amount that goes to LLS, and they train you for your race and help pay part of the fees. It was one of the best experiences of my life, and somehow, I managed to go from not being able to run 1 mile continuously to running 13.1 in about 2.5 hours (probably closer to 2.75). All this in the span of about 5 months!

Then I sat on my butt. Surprisingly, all the weight and all the other issues started piling back on. Crazy how that works. 

Now, I’m running and training and participating in the Spartan for many of the same reasons. I wanted to see significant changes in my squishy body. Vanity is definitely at play here, and it’s okay to feel that way and admit it. If you are unhappy with your body, you should work to change it, but make sure the changes you are making are healthy and what YOU want, not what someone else tells you to want. I wanted to do something that I never thought I’d be able to accomplish. I really do thrive with a challenge. I wanted to do something to remind me that just because I’m turning 30, doesn’t mean I’m too old to do crazy things! Most importantly, I wanted to be healthy both physically and emotionally. I think in the past few months, I’ve managed to make significant strides. 

Exercise isn’t a cure all, and it definitely isn’t a diagnosis from a professional, but if you are feeling out of sorts, depressed, unhappy, or discontent with your life, I really encourage you to try and pick up some form of activity. It’s not going to fix everything. It won’t be easy. In fact, most of the time I absolutely hate running, and it is never easy, but it is always worth the feeling of accomplishment afterwards. If you are stressed, anxious, tired, irritated, or just CAN’T EVEN – I think Morgan would join me in challenging you to try out some kind of workout for at least a month and see if it doesn’t provide you with a different outlook or at least a better coping mechanism (punching things is cathartic, and bags can’t press charges). 

And to show my love for you – if you want to see the difference a year (of not even serious committed workouts until the last 3 months and very little significant diet change) can make, check out these incredibly revealing and embarrassing photos. 18159473_10101283920766318_221466305_o

One more month, and I’ll no longer be a Spartan Wannabe, but just a Spartan! 

From my over-caffeinated ❤ to yours, 

Amber

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