Saturday, December 5, 2009

A blog about marathoning, weight loss, and seeing your goals through

In high school, I hated when we had to run even a mile. I wasn't fat by any stretch, just not very fit and certainly not convinced in my athletic abilities.

It wasn't until college I discovered that if I put my mind to it, I could run a few miles. Stepping out of my comfort zone, I entered my first 5K in 2000 - the St. Patty's Day Dash in Seattle. I instantly fell in love with the spirit of racing and the rush of the finish line.

Over the next few years I completed about a dozen 10Ks, a sprint-distance triathlon, three half marathons, and eventually went on to complete three full marathons. While I'm not a fast runner, I'm a determined runner. So I'm proud to say I've finished every race I've signed up for.

My last race was the Disney World marathon in 2007. While I finished, it was by far my most difficult race. I had had my first baby just 9 months prior via C-Section, was tired, and unaccustomed to the heat and humidity of running in Florida (I'm a Western Washington native). I was exhausted and decided to take a break from racing.

In 2008, I had my second baby, and once again, put on more weight than I intended to. I also found it has been more difficult to lose weight the second time around. Life as a stay-at-home mom of two has taken it's toll. In addition, I work from home as a freelance copywriter and blogger, so I'm frequently tired and short on time.

However, I can't stay where I'm at physically. I often feel sluggish. I miss getting the 'high" from a good, long run. I miss the excitement of gearing up for a race and the pride I feel after successfully completing a training cycle and race. And let's face it, I miss being able to wear some of my favorite pre-baby clothes!

So what am I proposing to do, exactly? Jump start my New Year's resolutions: lose the weight once and for all by training for, and completing my fourth marathon. I intend to lose 26 pounds - one for each mile of a marathon. I will be doing some shorter races leading up to the big one. I'm currently deciding on the marathon I will run, but it will most likely be late fall 2010.

I'm currently in the worst physical shape of my life, so this will mean having to attain a base level fitness before launching into marathon training. So I'm pretty well starting from scratch.

Would you like to join me in my adventures? I hope you will consider. Whether you've completed marathons before, or can't currently run a mile to save your life, we can do it together. If you have a few pounds to lose or just want to get fit, running is an excellent way to do it.

I'm going to share with you my very best ideas for training and racing, and I hope to inspire you with my own story along the way. While I'm generally pretty private about my weight - especially now - I'm willing to be open about how I'm doing and feeling in order to help you along the way.

Over the next few days, I'll share some pictures with you and my thoughts about forming a training schedule for the year ahead. In the meantime, I hope you'll consider joining me...1 pound at a time, 1 mile at a time.


KLSreflections said...

Hooray for you! I've never been much of a runner either (I do 5K's....slowly) but my husband is encouraging me to train for a bigger goal. I think this is awesome! I have about 20 lbs to lose so marathon I come!

Christina.S. said...

So glad I saw your post for the start of this new blog!! I actually just finished losing the baby weight from my second child, who just turned 1 - so it's definitely possible!! :)
I've also been toying with the idea of upping my mileage. The most I've done is a 5K, and only 1 race at that. So maybe this is just the boost I need to get me going!!

Angela R. said...

I'm glad to have some takers. The next two months I'll be just focusing on shedding some pounds and building fitness...then I'll transition to train for a 1/2 marathon and then a full. We'll work together slowly. But it CAN be done! Believe it!

Julie said...

This is such a great idea! I love when people inspire others to be great! Thanks for the motivation and invite. I just wish this was about 7 months down the road in my life. I am pregnant with my last baby (#5) and would love a network of women to train for a marathon with. You have inspired me! Maybe I will try and round up a group to do it come June. I was thinking a half marathon but maybe a full would be in my future! Good Luck. I am going to follow your progress. I am excited for you!

Mulkeytown said...

This is what I need, someone to help me, baby #2 is almost one and there is extra weight that is slowing me down. I have also wanted to run a marathon, I have never been a runner, but have been active through high school. I would love to join you! I am in Olympia, Northwest native too!


Cathy said...

Thanks for sharing your journey. I've lost 15 pounds over the last year but am currently lacking motivation. I did 2 5Ks in 2009 and would love to keep running, even just a few miles a couple of days a week. It feels so good when I finally get out the door! :)

Rebecca Del Pozo said...

You have inspired me. I am relieved to hear that it's a "slow but sure" kind of a plan..because I am battling 3 hernitated discs in my lower back right now and I need to start slow and feel like I am doing something...making some kind of progress. It doesn't help that I have extra lbs I'm carrying around and I can't call it baby weight anymore as my baby is almost 5 years old. I have always wanted to run a marathon, but stuggled with weight all my life. I look forward to a slow but steady goal together!! Thanks for your honesty and willingness to be real!

Mrs.Sonja said...

I have been considering running for quite some time. My good friend runs marathons and recently qualified for the Boston marathon. She encouraged me to join her running group. Which I find somewhat intimidating. I am setting my goals for a half marathon. I definetly have weight to loose and am seriously out of shape. I can barely run a mile without stopping and walking. Do you think spring is too soon to be trained for a half-marathon if I were to start in January?

Angela R. said...

Mrs. Sonja, I'm hoping to do a 1/2 late May - early summer, and will probably start training for that in Feb. I generally train 3-4 months for a 1/2 or full marathon, but this assumes I am in decent shape starting out. But I have friends that have done far less training than this with far better results, too! I do recommend doing a smaller race first though if you're truly not in shape and if you've never raced before. I will likely do a 10K early spring to warm up my racing muscles. ;)

I would certainly find it intimidating to train with folks who have qualified for the Boston. My best marathon time was just under 5:10 if that gives you an idea. While I always want to reach for that PR, I hope I can encourage more people to do this. You don't need to be a fast runner to run a marathon. Just a determined one. Also, when I've trained with people much faster than's been pointless. I'm with them for the first 2 minutes, and then run the next 4 hours by myself.

Again, I'm completely starting from square one, so my goal is to make what might seem an unattainable goal completely realistic as we tackle it bit by bit. Right now: my goal is to just drop a few pounds and not worry too much about the entire 26.2 distance right now.

I'm really pleased by the response from everyone. Makes me feel it was worth it to start this little blog!

Robyn said...

Hi Angela,

I have read your other blog for many months. I was that fat girl in highschool who hated to run the mile, and was ALWAYS last (obese and asthmatic). I've slimmed down during certain periods of my life, but the weight has always crept back on and then some. I had my son in 2008 and he will be two in Feb, I've made enough excuses why I haven't taken off the weight and subsequently why I've gained more, but no more excuses. It's 2010 and I want to get into the best shape of my life. I'm inspired by you because we're the same age and our children are probably close in age as well. I've got a very LONG way to go, but my goal is to run my first 5k this year. I've never been able to run a mile, this is the year I'd like say I'm a runner and I CAN run. I'm going to be travelling far less than 26 miles during my race, but I hope to lose 3 times that many pounds by 12/31/10. I'm in...