Happy Birthday, BRF!

Today is my best running friend’s birthday. She is 55 years old. In the last seven years, she and I have lost a combined 70lbs, and we’re closing in on 75lbs lost. She and I were heavy together, and now we are skinny together. We send each other dressing room pictures of ourselves in clothes that we normally wouldn’t have dreamed of even trying on. We bought skinny jeans together just last week.

We do a lot together, not only because we are best running friends, but also because we are mother and daughter.

My freshman year of college, I tipped the scales at 175lbs. I’m only 5’3″ so that was a lot of weight to carry around. My BMI was at the bottom end of the obese scale. I must have hid it well because most people don’t believe me when I tell them I weighed that much.

I asked my mom not too long ago how she felt about my weight issues when I was younger. She said it upset her to see me heavy, but she didn’t really know what to do. She was struggling too and figured it was just our genetics.

My senior year of high school, she was diagnosed with lupus and fibromyalgia. Her doctor told her that she would feel better if she could lose a little weight. She started walking. She started eating better. She lost a little weight.

Then I got pregnant. My doctor told me it was “perfectly fine” for me to gain 20-25lbs during my pregnancy. I did the math in my head and panicked. There was no way I was going to weigh 200lbs when I delivered. No way. So I started walking with my mom. I started going to water aerobics. I didn’t gain 25lbs. I didn’t even gain 20lbs. I weighed less when I got home from the hospital than when I got pregnant.

I was happy to have lost a little weight, so I kept walking and taught myself how to cook. I researched nutrition and started eating a lot better. When my oldest was 15 months old, I got pregnant again, and again I managed to weigh less when I got home from the hospital than when I got pregnant.

By this time, my mom had lost quite a bit of weight and bought a bike. She started riding in addition to her walking. Eventually she started what she refers to as “wogging,” her term for walk/jogging.

Now I’m a slightly competitive person…ok, I’m really competitive. My mom says it’s genetic…from the other side of the family. I didn’t want my mom to be skinnier than me. I kicked it into high gear. Not to be shown up by my 50-year-old mom, I bought a bike too and started riding. I started running. I was diagnosed with moderate to severe lactose intolerance and eliminated dairy from my diet, which allowed me to easily drop 5lbs. I caught up to her and then a little bit more. My BMI is now in the healthy weight range. I weigh less than I did in eight grade.

Do I care that I got to buy size 8 skinny jeans and my best running friend bought size 10? A little bit. But I know if she keeps it up, she’ll be buying size 8s of her own before too long. Or maybe she can have mine, because she’ll push me as hard as always and I’ll be buying size 6s!

So…HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the best running friend a girl could ask for! And to the best mom and the best friend a daughter could ask for! Thanks for always pushing me to better myself and for being an inspiration not only to me, but to every person who encounters you in this life.

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Run for the Roses 5K – Race Report

I envisioned the night and morning before my race to go something like this. Eat dinner. Lounge around watching TV and stretching. Going to bed and sleeping with probably a little tossing and turning. Wake up. Eat PB toast and coffee. Poop. Head to the race.

This is how it actually went. Eat dinner. Lounge around watching TV and stretching. Suddenly get really nauseous. Puke A LOT in an hour time frame. Ingest large quantities of antiemetic medications, some of which stayed down, some of which didn’t. Drift in and out of consciousness which resulted in my husband removing my glasses once I felt asleep. Wake up with a still sour stomach. Moan about missing the race. Listen to encouraging words from my husband. Sip water that stayed down. Got my race kit on. Took another antiemetic pill. Headed to the race.

Yeah…less than ideal.

I don’t remember exactly what my husband told me, but what stuck with me is that I would regret not trying. I kept the water down. I didn’t feel totally awful. And I knew I would definitely regret not trying after ten weeks of training.

I threw my goal in the trash. I knew I couldn’t break 30 minutes feeling the way that I did. But I was going to run. I was going to RACE. I was going to do something I had never done before. And I did it.

Run for the Roses includes a one mile race and a 5K race. It’s a small local race paired with the city of Rose Hill’s Fall Festival. This year was the 29th annual Run for the Roses. The course is a fast, flat, out and back south on the main drag of the city.

I started out in the front part of the pack and was quickly passed. I started out too fast, running the first quarter mile at an under 9 min pace. My Garmin probably thought someone else was wearing it. Slow down, deep breaths. I got my pace down to my fast training pace, but I slipped down slower once I hit the start of mile 3. My splits ended up being 9:23, 10:12, 10:55. Started out too fast…duh. I ended up running side by side with another woman. She eventually passed me in the last sprint. I was also passed by one of the stroller pushers…dang, she sprinted the last quarter mile like a badass. I did manage to pass one young boy who obviously bonked. I hate to admit it, but I enjoyed passing him…knowing in my head that a 31-year-old mom was beating the high schooler.

I crossed the finish line and listened to the beep of my chip registering. It was such a surreal experience. I’ve watched my husband cross a lot of finish lines, but this time it was me. I did it…on my own. I stepped out of my comfort zone and ran my race, ran my pace. And I can’t wait until the next one.

Of course, the best part was not what I accomplished, but what my six-year-old did. He loves to run. He loves to race. When his daddy nudged him out of bed that morning, the first word out of his mouth was “RACE!” He finished 3rd in his age group. My hero.