Every Mile Matters
by Carol-Lee Holland
When my BF challenged me to run a 5k with her 3 years ago, I had no idea what it would do to my life. Let me set the stage…I was living in a new city with only my hubby. We were learning about the new city by eating our way through all the new restaurants…hence gaining weight along the way. I had never run, felt I couldn’t run, but she wanted me to run a Disney race in February 2013 for a girls weekend, as an excuse to be able to go visit. She gave me almost 10 months to train, and I told her I would try. Luckily, I worked with a bunch of the most supportive people that I have ever met, and many of them are runners. I got advice, support, help, and shoulders to lean on. I signed up for a 5k locally so that I could motivate myself to train, and when I crossed that first finish line, I KNEW I could do it! I called BF and said I would meet her in Disney…she then informed me that we would be running the half marathon, and not the 5k! SHE KNEW I could do it, and that I was hooked! Let the training begin!
Since the day I started training for that 5k, May 1, 2012, I haven’t stopped. I’ve changed my eating habits, lost close to 25#, wake up thinking about my next run, go to sleep thinking of my next run. I have injured myself and healed. I have learned what to eat before a run. I’ve learned how to hydrate properly. I have learned that “poop” is a typical conversation amongst runners. But mostly, I have accomplished more than I thought was possible. I have now run 17 half marathons, and I’m not done…I continue to push myself. I have dropped over 30 minutes off my first half, but I am still trying to reach my goal of a sub 2:15…I’m hoping 2015 will be my year, but if not, I will keep trying. I have also decided to run my first full this year, and that is scary! Scary because I know it will be hard and require an amount of discipline that I’m not positive I have in me; however, I feel I am really at a point of giving this a shot and making these miles count.
When I joined Moon Joggers in December 2012, I didn’t know what to expect. Tina and I talked about it and decided to give it a try…1000 miles in a year? What the heck! Well, I have yet to reach that goal but I’m not giving up. This is where the “Every Mile Counts” attitude comes in. Every mile matters to me because I do not want to go back to that overweight, unhealthy, inactive person. I have watched my mom grow older, and less active, and it hurts me. I do not want to be that way…I have a new grand-baby, and I want to be active when her kids are born…not sitting in a chair because my muscles and bones will not allow me to get on the floor to play, or take them for a walk, or push them on swings. I will continue to push myself each year to reach the 1000 and when I finally reach that goal, I will make a new goal. The goals keep me motivated, the races (& bling) keep me addicted, and the friendships I’ve made keep me smiling!
My husband, Steve, joined me running about a year into my journey. It is nice having someone close to share the ups and downs of my runs, and he is as addicted as I am. Together we understand what it takes, but we also have our own goals and mind-set. He’s much faster, so we never run together, but he is one of my biggest supporters in this journey.
So my journey of a thousand miles began with one step…and each step counts, as does each mile…Keep moving forward people, don’t go backwards…nobody’s got time for that!