Hello! This blog is being discontinued. With my NEW weight loss journey on the horizon, I felt it was only right to start with a brand new home. I hope to see you there!


My Running Journey + Quick Tips

1 of the 23 reasons I entertained for losing weight was to become a runner. I know many advise - you don't have to wait to make things happen until you're a smaller size ... but running was another story. At 257 pounds, it was one of those feats I knew wasn't likely to occur overnight.

My fascination with running developed while I was under the care of my foster mom at 14 (temporary, when my mother fell ill). She was a church missionary, but also an excellent track coach for a major university. An Olympian, who took her passion of running to build a career.

I'd travel with her team to track meets throughout the country and ...
was simply marveled by the athleticism these older kids possessed. I witnessed first-hand the strenuous training they underwent, and the pride they bared following triumph. I truly admired that. Of course, not enough admiration to put down the Zebra Cakes I demolished while on the road with them. I digress.

With that sketched in my memory, I always said one day I'm going to run. Fast forward 8 years ...

I'm 22, living with multiple sclerosis, lifestyle-provoked hypertension, pre-diabetes and obesity. Running was far from my list of concerns. However, the moment I started taking strides in correcting my diet, and succumbing to corny workout videos, and amateur romps at the gym - I felt ready to walk (or run) into my dream! I consulted with my primary care physician (who subsequently forwarded me to my neuro) and the conversation went all bad. He candidly told me, "If you start running, I'm going to be seeing a lot of you." Eh.

I suppose he didn't fare too well in any of his patient consolatory courses :o/ ... but I knew there was some truth to his disclosure. MS, a highly sensitive degenerative nerve disorder throws my body out of wack for chewing wrong, getting too hot, tilting my head too far. Any and more of the aforementioned can leave me in the bed for days. Not to mention the imbalance those of us with MS encounter. Now my bama self, wants to throw running in the mix?

But, my stubbornness kept me positive and I continued to research, followed running blogs and discovered many of them began as walkers and joggers. So I figured heck ... let's start there. My office building had beautiful walking paths, so I used my lunch time to navigate the trails. Just walking at a very moderate pace, walking 1.6 - 2.6 miles depending on the day.

I then took my walking to my neighborhood, up and down the street. Later, started walking at the nature trails. Now this was a test! It was so populated with far more people around than my normal routes. I began to get nervous, intimidated even. I tried jogging (to keep up with the slimmer women) but could only push out 10 seconds, before resuming the walk - gasping for air. And mind you, everyone would pass me; hot guys, divas, kids, sight-seeing old people even other thick people and I'd feel beyond humiliated. But kept in mind, it would not be like this forever.

My 30 minute walks, soon got longer - which developed into interval jogs. Thereafter, I upgraded to jog/runs ... and over the period of about 4 months - I was full out running! Whether in the gym or outdoors I was racking up miles. While maintaining a healthy diet, and managing MS complications as they came.

There is nothing like the feeling, post-run to me. The exhaustion from running, is my crown. Like my weight loss journey, my running journey was and still is a process. A process I'll continue to embark on, as I meet weekly mileage goals and even face my second half marathon, on my 25th birthday - May 1, 2010 ... ~PC

Quick Running Tips:
* I am not a medical professional or student. Please seek specialized care, from your medical professional, certified trainer, or dietician. The below are simply my experiences:

Diet: Eating junk all day and then running is a bad combo - mentally and physically. I require wholesome nutrients in my body to contend with the ground I cover. Eat clean!
Water: Hydration, key to any cardio routine and instrumental to muscle health, during vigorous activity. My water intake ranges from 100-120oz a day.
Stretching + Warm-Up: I used to skip this step, until I realized the benefits of prepping the muscles by stretching and or starting off my run at a conservative pace to warm-up. To go from little intensity to a run, is major shock to the body and could cause injury. Give yourself a little time.
Track: I find that logging my miles always gives me a scope of how I'm progressing and more incentive to 'outdo' myself. I do recommend personally tracking or using sites such as Daily Mile (loveth it) to keep tabs. I'm on there after every run comparing my intensity and distance. Oh, it's free ... lol.
Programs: I did things quite off the beaten path (no pun), so there was not a singular method to becoming a runner for me. But if structure is what you seek - check out the many challenges out there, such as Couch 25K.