Sunday, June 6, 2010

Runnin', Runnin' and Runnin', Runnin'...

You would think without a job, I would have more time to write - sorry for the laziness. Although I'm not exactly out of a job anymore (more on that in a different post).

Anyway, probably a lot of you know that I used to compete in the Miss America Organization (more about that in another post, too!) When I was training for my fourth and final attempt at the crown, I ran...a lot. I am not a natural runner by any stretch of the imagination. I run weird, I don't know how to properly breath, I probably don't even use the correct muscles. But it was the best and fastest way for me to shed pounds and tone up, so I worked up to four miles a day toward the end.

Once Miss Iowa was over, I was kind of tired of running, so I stopped. Then I got pregnant. Then I never got around to losing the baby weight. My mom told me don't worry, it takes nine months to put it on, it takes just as long to get it off. But when Brady turned one and those pesky ten pounds lingered, I didn't think I could use him as the excuse anymore! So, I joined the gym and started running again.

Now that the weather is nice, I run outside. We have a loop around our house that is exactly one mile, with two monstrous hills. That loop kicked my butt right out of the gate, but today I am proud to report I ran an entire four mile circuit - something I haven't done in four years, and with those killer hills! I would have tried for a fifth mile, but I ran out of time (haha, RAN out of time. get it?!).

Last weekend, we went to Parkersburg for a visit to Joel's family on Memorial weekend. Although we didn't make it up there for the 5k run the town was holding, the path was still marked for several days. So Sunday morning, I got up at 7:30 (I don't think I've ever done a morning run!) and followed the arrows. It was the most enjoyable run I've ever had! Those hills back home really conditioned me to run more easily, it was fun not knowing where I was going or how much farther I had to run, and I got to see a lot of the town this way. In case you didn't know, Parkersburg was leveled by an F5 tornado two Memorial Day weekends ago, so it was nice to run through old and new parts of town and really take in how much has changed. It's still eerie to see all the nice, new houses, but no trees. There are huge, tall trees in the older part of town, but you can clearly see just by looking at the vacant skyline where the tornado ripped through town from the lack of trees. And of course, running past the barn where Joel's coach and family friend, Ed Thomas, was shot and killed last summer was a somber reminder to myself that I should only hope to affect one person the way that he has affected so many.

So to the point of this post: I said I wanted to do this last summer, but I never took the initiative to do it. So I figure writing it down for everyone to see should help hold me more accountable, right? Even though I am not a good runner, or very in shape at this point, my goal is to run a half marathon this Fall. I don't want to win, I want to finish. I want to accomplish something for me that I never thought I would ever be able to do. And I know the way I have been treating my body lately has not been healthy, either. God has given me this body as a gift, and it's my responsibility to take care of it. To continue neglecting it is, well, sinful I think. And that perspective has made all the difference. I just ate a brownie five minutes ago, so it's not like I am all healthy with everything, but my health is important, I'm not getting any younger, and this goal will never be easier to attain, so here I go! I'll try to update on my progress - and for you runners out there, if you have any tips, tricks, or advice to pass along, I am all ears!


Jess said...

Wow, a half Marathon! Good for you! Where will you be running it? So you decided to start running again and ran 4 miles your first day, or did you work up to it? Running is not my friend but walking I can do, I just need to do more of it! :)

Cassie Marks said...

oh no, i definitely worked up to it! i started working out in the winter at the YMCA, then when it got nice outside i started running. but i've progressed faster than i thought i would, so hopefully that half marathon won't be too far off! i have no idea where/when i am running it, i just know there are usually ones in the fall in des moines, so i figured i'd do one of those :)

Victoria Newton said...

Good Luck! The Des Moines half marathon is a nice (relatively flat) course! Remember to switch out your running shoes every 500 miles or three's like changing the oil in your car :) Keep on writing too :)

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