A whole heck of a lot of medals.
There are a few marathon medals thrown in there but all but three are from the half marathons I have run. I love them all. Looking through them is a fun walk down memory lane.
Just about every race came with a t-shirt.
Being Pleasantly Surprised
Every once in awhile I either grabbed an age group place or a Clydesdale place (embracing the Clyesdaleness because I will never weigh under 130 pounds- ice cream my heart belongs to you) which meant acquiring a plate, some southwestern art and a plaque.
The physique of an Olympic athlete
Okay that is a lie. But I have lost around 45 pounds over the last two years. Wait, just to clarify they are not lost. No return tag- please do no return them. They have been exterminated. This always surprises people who hear that but I was a bit on the curvy side shall we say. Okay my pants were ah straining. I would attribute most of that to diet changes but running also helped. Not so much in the burning extra calories way though that is helpful. Running changed my relationship with food. When I was all plump and happy I never put much thought into food, what I was eating, how much I was eating. The answer was always yes when pizza was in question. Okay the pizza question is still always yes. But a modified yes- one to two slices with a side salad instead of half a pie. Okay the whole pie. But as I began to run more I became more interested in fueling correctly for running which meant eating more fruits and veggies and less Hot Tamales. I began to see myself as an athlete and that changed my eating habits which has resulted in roomier pants. I probably have some more weight to lose and will work on that through treating myself right with the right mix of good for me foods and fun foods. Life is just too sad without some fun in the form of ice cream, pasta and candy.
If I am honest about why I started this quest I think in part it was a way for me to escape graduate school. Focusing on this quest gave me something else to focus on besides being very unhappy with my chosen field of study and pursuit of yet another graduate degree. Running gave me something else to focus on and look forward too. The more I ran the more confidence I gained in myself and my ability to handle things thrown my way. In the end I gained enough confidence in myself to make the decision that no amount of studying, reading of articles and writing was going to make me successful at something I was not happy doing or make me want to keep doing it. It gave me enough confidence to move in a different direction with my life. A decision I have never regretted. I was lucky enough to work with a great group of grad students and instructors but in the end it was just not the right fit and pulling myself out of the single focus of getting to the end of grad school and focusing on something I truly enjoyed let me see that. It has also given me more overall confidence in myself. I am runner hear my roar.
Overall my 30 by 30 quest has been well worth the investment of race registration and travel, the miles of training and numerous shoe purchases. This quest has introduced me to a whole new fun and supportive world of running and other runners. I am excited for what comes next (after I kick these injuries to the curb)- though still working on that part.
What has running done for you?