Before I continue what will be a very long (you've been warned) post, let me just mention that I make a lot of assumptions of my readers. I assume that people who read this actually know me in real life and therefore know a few things about me. I assume you all know the following, and if you don't already know, now you will:
- I was naturally skinny my entire life until the age of 22.
- I'd been relatively active throughout my life even though I lived for a year off of doritos and easy mac.
- I've run a half and full marathon.
- I went from being around 145lbs to probably 220lbs in the span of roughly 15 months.
- I've battled severe depression for a large portion of my life.
I'm sure there are more things but those might help you understand why things are such a big deal and why now I try to keep such a generally positive outlook. So what I'm going to do is recap this past year, the highs and the highers and bring to a close what will likely be one of the most important years of my life.
Technically, it started in October but it was the very end of the month so we'll go with November. In an effort to reinvent myself I began a personal challenge called 30 Days of Yoga. I've been doing yoga off and on since I was 19 and have always enjoyed it. I thought it would be eas(ier)y for me to start my transformation with yoga because it was something I liked and though I wasn't great at it, it made me feel better. Yoga is an equalizer. It doesn't care how small, big, fast or slow you are. There are big people who can do splits and marathon runners who can't touch their toes. It's a technique thing and that made it something I wasn't entirely intimidated by. I was in no way prepared to be seen in public working out so I bought a Yoga for Beginners dvd by Rodney Yee and did it faithfully. I also completed the Louisville Pure Tap 5K. There is not a single photo of me from this race because again, I wasn't proud of how I looked. I also wasn't proud of my performance. Looking back, I wish I could've been more proud of myself that day because it was a big deal!
Moving into December, I kept up with yoga some but just really stalled and realized I had no clue what I was doing. I'd lost about 8 pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas but had no idea how to lose weight. Again, lifelong skinny mini doesn't lend itself to being all that knowledgeable about health and fitness. I finally decided to admit to the world my goal of losing 60 pounds. I sought the help of my sister and guided by her and a lot of internet searches tried to find my way. I got some exercise clothes and shoes for Christmas and I really think the support helped to set me on the right track. I also got a stand up mixer. Probably counterproductive.
I started the 10lb Slimdown program towards the end of January and my intention was to do all 28 days and lose *hopefully* 10 pounds. That did not happen. I did a lot of it. Well, some of it. And it's a great program by Chris Freytag that I'd definitely recommend. I also finally started to venture out into the world and start taking hot yoga classes at Yoga on Baxter. It was hard. It was hot. There were mirrors and I had to do a lot of fighting to overcome my negativity towards my body when I saw my reflection. Starting hot yoga was the start of my mental workout. Definitely a necessary evil.
In February my birthday came along! On the actual day I allowed a photo to be taken just before my sister and I headed out to Jefferson Memorial Forest with the dogs for a hike.
I got out of the house a bit more this month and started to (very slowly) build some confidence. I also decided to run the full Triple Crown of Running in March/April. It turned out to be a really good idea.
Running re-entered my life in March with the Anthem 5K.
Anthem 5K 47:19
Rodes 10K 1:26:38
Papa John's 10 Miler 2:22:55 (that's not me...it's my sister but we were pretty much wearing the same thing)
My Triple Crown overall time added up to 4:36:52 across 3 races and culminated with the Papa John's 10 Miler in April. Finally, I felt proud of myself. When I finished that race I was literally stunned by what I'd been able to accomplish in a few short (though they seemed long) months. It was after the race that I decided to try my hand at a triathlon. I don't know where along the road I changed but I suspect it had something to do with the thrill of racing again. There's something about a race of any kind or any distance that makes people feel good. Maybe it's the camaraderie or sense of accomplishment, maybe it's endorphins, or maybe I'm just crazy. But I turned a corner in April and haven't looked back since. It was also in April that I started blogging again! Well, kinda.
May was a big month for me! I learned to ride a bike! I re-learned to swim! I learned how to run regularly again in my new body! Labor Day weekend was the bi-annual Mayor's Hike, Bike and Paddle and I was super excited to take my bike out for it's first group ride! I think I made it about 5 miles and man was that a big accomplishment. It was a little scary since I had next to no bike handling skills whatsoever but I finally was able to ride. And ride I did.
Hike, Bike and Paddle
By June I had moved to a new place and was full on into tri training. I also was for real back into blogging because now I had material! I announced to the world my triathlon plans and was following a training plan. I ran another 5K which just so happened to be The Colonel's first race ever and that was a lot of fun. I was also down a solid 15 pounds. Training didn't have a great effect on my weight in terms of numbers lost but now I'd started to understand what people meant by losing inches. I was toning up big time and I could finally see a difference. I was addicted to exercise. I was addicted to the endorphins. I started blogging more often and most importantly, I was blogging positively. And that was the most welcome change of all.
Another big month followed, right in the thick of training. I logged my first 33 mile week, got my first training related injury, started noticing more progress on the inches lost front and my sister graduated! There was no racing but lots (for me) of blogging and a lot of fun was had training. By the end of the month I was down about 30 lbs overall which is hard to do while training and had dropped into a snug size 12/14 pant size. I was rockin and rollin so hard that August really snuck up on me!
The most obvious accomplishment of August would of course be the Go Girl Triathlon but before that I had a pretty horrifying and life changing dip in the Ohio River. I also adopted (finally) the race recap method and started actually telling you about my races in hindsight and realized how much fun that can be. There's so much that can be said for August but this post is long enough. I'm just so grateful that this month and all of the good, bad and scary happened because it really turned me into a much different and much better person.
My first tri finisher's medal!
Well by now you know that I'm a race machine. September was fun, fun, fun! The stress and worry surrounding my first tri were gone and my confidence was at an all time high. I raced, I brought home another new bike, and I generally stayed active and did what I wanted without a plan to dictate my days. I still swam, I still biked, I still ran but I also did yoga, kickboxing and hit the weights again. I started to become well rounded and started thinking about next year. It was a great month for reflection and redirection.
Meet Dottie :)
And now we come to the end. October has been phenomenal. I've blogged more, randomly taken pictures of myself for blog purposes only, and raced! Twice! Including one incredible PR and my first marathon relay. I truly cannot believe how much I've packed into one quick little year but it just gives me so much hope regarding what will certainly come next. I'll try to keep up with my blogging and I hope you'll stick around for the fun!
Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 10K 1:04:21
Indianapolis Marathon Relay Team [My leg 7.15 miles 1:26:34] Full Marathon 5:27:05