I am so excited to have Jen R. from the blog From Fat to Finish Line make her debut appearance on my blog as a guest writer! Jen and I have never met in person, but we have become friends through blogging and it is amazing how many experiences we have been through together, including our first marathons this spring. I think there was a time when we even checked to make sure we weren’t twins! While Jen and I have shared triumphs in weight loss and running, we have also shared many setbacks, including struggling with marathon training and less-than perfect race day outcomes. Thorough it all, Jen has been a source of inspiration and joy to me – as a friend and a fellow blogger. Recently, Jen and I have been challenged by the fallout that comes after finishing a marathon and it has been difficult to get back on track. Please welcome Jen as she talks about Operation No Mile Left Behind, her movement to get back to running, happiness and health!
A few weeks ago when I wrote this entry on my own blog I had no idea that it might inspire someone else. Sometimes I have to ‘fake it ‘til I make it’ and that post kind of felt that way to me as I was floundering about and trying to get my running back on track.
I am honored and appreciative that Sara thought this interesting enough to “guest blog” about.
First off, my instincts are not to get out and run or eat healthy for that matter. No. If I could get away with it and not die an early death, I would eat lots of crap, sit on my a$$ and chain smoke cigarettes but instead I try to run, eat relatively healthy and quit smoking years ago.
I need constant motivation to move. I find signing up for races and having looming deadlines help but sometimes those training schedules become overwhelming. If I think I should be running 3, 4 or 6 miles that day and know I don’t have a full hour of time (or motivation!) I wind up doing nothing. Often thinking that a 15 minute or 20 minute workout isn’t worth it.
Throughout this summer, I found myself doing less and less running and more and more excuse-making. Pounds that I’ve worked hard to keep off started creeping back, fitness slipped, depression began setting in. I had to take some kind of action; even it was just a little something.
So that’s what I decided to do. To just run a little.Make every minute of movement count and honor every mile. I stopped the “all or nothing attitude” and began to take what time I could when I could.
I once weighed 96 pounds more than I do right now.For me to walk at a slow speed for 10 minutes back then was a labor and a “good workout.” Those slow, labored steps helped build the foundation to the runner I am today! How dare I discredit a ten minute run or “just doing a mile!”Since running a few halfs and one marathon I started to feel guilty for not doing more long runs. I mean I had a 20 mile run at the height of training, how can I feel good when running more than a mile or two is a struggle lately!?
But every marathon starts with a single step.
I took time to remember the big deal in being able to run for one full minute back when I was 240… and then the bigger deal when I ran for two minutes. I remember the huge moment when I was able to run for one straight mile!And the day that I walked/ran/jogged/walked my first 5K I broke down at the finish line and sobbed like I had just run and won Boston. All those steps, the small steps, the slow steps, the steps I walked, the steps I ran, they all counted.
And they count now. In the big picture every step on your journey is a step forward. The only time you go backwards is when you’re not moving at all. There are days that I’ll be able to find the time and motivation to run for 6 miles or more but the rest of the time I’m proudly, appreciatively and gladly grabbing the ten minutes of running, or the two miles or whatever I can. I will never feel guilty about moving forward again. And will never skip even a five minute opportunity because I feel “it’s not enough.”
Since adopting a “no mile left behind” attitude, I’ve wracked up a ton of miles in those ‘little runs.’ I feel better, I’m burning calories and it’s keeping me on track.
What I’ve learned is every step gets you closer to the finish line and I’ll leave no step behind again.
If you are struggling too or just appreciate how much every step does matter, join Operation No Mile Left Behind today! What are you waiting for? We’d love to have you!