I used to hate to exercise. I didn't like getting sweaty or pushing myself physically. I started to gain weight and I was tired a lot of the time. After moving to Omaha in 2002 I decided things needed to change. My 2003 New Year's resolution was to exercise more. I joined a gym and got a trainer, Mike. He is a former Master Fitness Trainer with the Nebraska National Guard. At our first session I told him I knew I was overweight and I didn't have any big goals. I just didn't want to continue to gain weight. I wonder what he thought of that comment? Nothing like setting low expectations!
I quickly learned that I enjoyed lifting weights, but hated doing cardio. I loved our weekly weight training sessions where Mike would push me beyond my comfort zone. But I needed more than just weight training; I also needed to do cardio. I would go the gym three days a week and mindlessly spend a half hour on the elliptical machine while watching TV. It just wasn't any fun. Early in the summer of 2003 Mike started talking to me about running. My response was, "Oh no. I hate to run. I can't run." He persisted and finally wore me down. On a very humid afternoon in August I decided to run a mile around my neighborhood. I mapped out a route using my car, loaded up my fanny pack with everything I would need for my long trek and took off. At around the half mile mark I thought I was going to die. I stopped to walk and catch my breath. Then my cell phone rang from within my fanny pack. It was my friend calling to talk, but she immediately became worried after hearing me talk. She offered to come get me. I assured her that in the worst case I could walk the half mile to my house instead of running. I hung up the phone and ran home. That was quite an accomplishment!
After that I never looked back. I started training a few days a week and by the end of August I ran a 5K with a friend from work. Our goal was to finish the race without stopping. We met that goal, crossing the finish line at around 30 minutes. We were so excited. Nathan and I decided to become running partners. In the fall we ran the Beer and Bagel 5K. Two weeks later I ran the Living History Farms 6 mile race in Des Moines with another one of the trainers from the gym. I was on a roll! Nathan I signed up for the Lincoln Half Marathon in May of 2004. Before the race, Nathan signed up for the Chicago Marathon. I wouldn't commit until I had at least done the half marathon. Our goal for the half marathon was the same as the one for our first 5K - finish without stopping. It was definitely hard, but we did it, crossing the finish line in 2:20:54. I spent the summer training for Chicago. Nathan stopped training, so I went to Chicago alone. It was very emotional being in Chicago alone. But somehow I pulled it together and finished the marathon.
I have created separate pages for some of my favorite races.