Running for her life!

Running for Weight Loss and So Much More!

Fit Love chronicles the story of how Taryn got healthy through a combination of running and eating healthy foods.  Initially, Taryn could not run — she just wasn’t fit enough.  But, she kept working at it and, once she started running, she was hooked!  Taryn tells of how running makes a huge difference in how she feels, both physically and mentally.  Her current goal is to run a race per month for the entire 2013 calendar year.  Taryn is quite an inspiration!

Check out Taryn’s story in her own words:

Taryn before she started running

I very vividly remember the first time I got on a treadmill twenty months ago when I committed to losing weight. At the time, I was 26 years old, 310 pounds, and very unhealthy. I joined a fitness club and thought “treadmill, this will be easy and a good first step.” And I was so wrong. I tried running, and I physically couldn’t. Not only did I quickly get winded when pushing the speed past 2.0 MPH, but my body was so big for my frame and my core strength so weak that I was unable to run on the treadmill because I couldn’t remove my hands from the side bars without feeling like I was going to fall. I was amazed at those around me who were running and playing Sudoku on their phones at the same time, thinking “I’ll never be able to do that!”

My first 5K was in March of 2010, a simple 5k route around our local college, flat road the whole way. I walked it. I felt accomplished, but something inside me told me I could do more, do better, go faster. So I began pushing myself at the gym. I started upping my speed on the treadmill, going for faster walks outside, and eating better and weight lifting to start shedding the pounds. And I quickly became addicted to running.

Taryn’s goal is to complete (at least) a race per month in 2013.

I wish I could remember the specific first day I was able to start running on the treadmill, I don’t. But I remember the high and I continued to chase it. I ran on the treadmill 3 – 4 days a week, and signed up for a couple more 5k road races. Running greatly contributed to the success I was seeing in my weight loss efforts, but not only that running helped me combat anxiety, release stress, and overall increased my happiness and lust for life. It was the best therapy!

In December of 2012, after a loss of 100 pounds, I made the commitment that 2013 would be the Year of the Races, and I decided to commit to one road race every month. January’s race was an interesting one in the foothills of Northern Colorado, snowy and a balmy 1 degree farenheit, but I did it. I remember being in the school’s recreation center with all my fellow runners, waiting with our hands wrapped around coffee cups, strangers conversing and joking about the upcoming race, instantly bonded by the community of running.

Another race for Taryn!

Every month since I have stuck to my goal of completing a road race, and achieving a personal best each time. I’ve completed this year six 5K races (one of which was a Mud Run), two 10K races, and I recently completed a Double Road Run Race, which is a 10K followed by a quick break followed immediately by a 5K. The best part of that race? Telling my friends and family I was doing it and hearing, “You’re crazy!” Each time I finish a race and achieve a personal best, I know that even though I’m not finishing first, the 310 pound version of myself from 2 years ago could have never thought she would make it this far. I don’t beat a lot of people in the race, but I beat my old self, and that’s an amazing accomplishment.

At 150 pound weight loss (you read that right!) I started training for my first half marathon, and just the thought of it was beyond words. Who would’ve thought? From being 310 pounds walking at a 2.0 speed and not being able to take my hands off the handlebars, to training for a ½ marathon.

Unfortunately about halfway through my training I was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, what I’m learning may possibly be every runner’s worst nightmare. I have not been able to run for weeks now, and have had to focus on recovery. To maintain my weight loss and continue to receive the same benefits of exercise (mental and physical), I have tried several other forms of exercise, from Zumba to elliptical to swimming, but nothing gives me the same joy and elation as running. I know I will get better and I know I will get back to running and in the meantime, I’m getting a very valuable lesson on how to take care of myself, another something I never did at the 310 pound version of myself.

Taryn’s progression to good health through running and healthy eating

I owe so much to running. Running was major in my formula for losing 150 pounds; running taught me to not worry about and compare my successes to those of others, but to work to overcome my own struggles, to push myself harder and faster each time; running gives me immediate joy and peace when I’m on the road and after I’m done. I truly love running and I can’t wait to get back to it!

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Runner.com is so happy to share Taryn’s story of how running changed her life.  Let  us know how running has changed your life!

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