Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Monday Motivation (Two-fer Tuesday Edition) - Karen

With all the technical difficulties I had, and the lateness of delivery my blogs last night-  I had to move Karen over to Tuesday. :)  Sorry Karen!!    Karen is a friend I have met through the Blogosphere.  She has a blog Losing To Win  .  I read about her training for her first 5K and asked her if she would be a guest blogger- and she graciously accepted.  In her own words, here is her journey

Hello.  I’m Karen and I write about losing weight, working out and redefining my body image and myself at Losing to Win.  I’ve always enjoyed exercising but strayed a bit for a while I struggled with binge eating disorder.  I pretty much stopped exercising for about 2 years while I worked through the binge cycles and the corresponding therapy to treat myself.  It was not an easy time, but I’m happy to say I’m coming out the other side now and am working out again, losing weight and feeling like I understand why I was bingeing and how to not continue that self-destructive pattern of eating and behaviors.

Since I didn’t work out for so long, when I started again, I felt like I was starting anew.  I decided to just try everything and not be held back by fears.  So I went after the thing I had always been most afraid of – running.  I didn’t really think I’d ever be able to run a minute, never mind a mile.  I was afraid I couldn’t breathe right, I was afraid I’d hurt my hips or my back.  I was afraid I’d be slow.  I was afraid I’d never be considered a “real runner” (whatever that is).   

I did some research since I had no idea where to start and found that the Couch to 5K program is incredibly popular and seems to be easy to follow.  So many bloggers, twitterers and friends have used that program to literally go from the couch to running a 5K, so I decided it was time to try it.  The first week, you’re running 60 second intervals, so it starts off light.  But that first week, running a 60 second interval was challenging for me.  I had to push myself to do it.  But it got easier the next week and then I was running 90 second intervals….I was increasing my running ability seconds at a time.   The program has you running three days a week and each workout takes about 30 minutes to complete.  It builds you up slowly and steadily.  I focused on one training run at a time and within weeks I was running for 20 minutes at a time!  That’s 1.5 to 2 miles depending on your pace! 
I had some days where I struggled with the idea of whether or not I was a runner.  I remember one particular workout where I was running on the treadmill at the gym and I was surrounded by about 6 other runners.  They were all going faster than me, I perceived them all to be fitter than me, and I defined each of them as a “real runner” and me as someone that didn’t belong in their crowd.  I was about to give up and jump off the treadmill and go home….until I realized that I was also running.  I was running alongside these people and how did that make me any less or any different?  Perhaps to the person behind me in the gym, they saw ME as a runner too.

I think we tell ourselves all kinds of things to prevent us from doing what we want or need to do.  It’s being able to recognize those voices and quiet or calm them that allows us to break through barriers and move forward in our journeys.  I decided to run a 5K when I knew it was time to do something else that scared me.  By signing up for the 5K, I was declaring that I am indeed a runner.  And I was going to run alongside a bunch of other “real runners”.  I decided not to focus on my time at all, but just focus on finishing.  I had a secret goal of not finishing last, but even if I did, at least I’d be finishing! 

The morning of the race I was so nervous.  I had these silly fears that I’d forget how to run, that all my training would be out the window.  But of course once the race started and I had my music on and my sneakers tight, I knew what to do.  Put one foot in front of the other and breathe steadily.  I had to stop and walk sometimes on the run.  And that’s OK.  Because I was listening to my body.  When I could run, I ran.  When I needed a break, I walked.  Most importantly, I allowed myself to be a runner that day.  And crossing that finish line (at 39 minutes and 20 seconds) was about the biggest gift I could have given myself!

Just like I thought I’d never go a week or a month or even a day without a binge, I also never thought I’d be able to run a 5K.  The things we tell ourselves are powerful….and we have to believe in ourselves to allow us to move forward and reach goals!  If I can do it, you surely can too!
If you want to follow Karen's journey... you can find her at  Losing To Win 

Have you recently completed a race or are you in the process of training for one?  I'd love to have you share your journey!  Email me at Millie [at] See Millie Tri [dot] com


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing my story Millie!

Alex said...

Funny, I used that same term in describing myself as not a "real runner" in my guest blog. And I guess there is no such thing. You either run or you don't run. I think a more accurate description would be that I'll never be a fast or competitive runner. But I will always be a runner!! Congrats on your 5k!!

Thanks for sharing Karen (& Millie)!

Lindsay K. said...

I can totally relate to the self-destructive eating behaviors. It is a daily struggle. Learning to accept myself for who I am at whatever stage I am. That is easier said than done though! Congratulations on taking on your fear and running your race!

Lindsay K. said...

I can totally relate to the self-destructive eating behaviors. It is a daily struggle. Learning to accept myself for who I am at whatever stage I am. That is easier said than done though! Congratulations on taking on your fear and running your race!

hann said...

There are some details about the abdominal exercise you should know before you start off. To achieve the desired results of the training program you must ensure that you will adopt a healthy diet.