Friday, February 12, 2010

My Sweet Escape

I am going to share a little bit about myself today... haha. I am a mom first and foremost...I love too cook and bake, especially(as you can see!)! I  LOVE trying out new recipes. They are like mini challenges in my little kitchen!
There is something about me that you probably don't know! I love to's my sweet escape from my busy life. Of course baking is one outlet for me..and decorating those cute little cookies & cakes... allows me to let my creative side out! BUT an entirely different ballgame.. it allows me to get it all out and leave it on the pavement (or my treadmill belt - whichever! lol).

Just recently, I've eased my way into feeling comfortable enough to call myself a runner. 
I've always wanted to be a runner.
I grew up the "chubby" one in the family. Actually, I can easily say now that I was obese. I hated my body and never really knew what to do about it. My 3 younger sisters were always tiny & petite. And there I was "the fat girl". I say that jokingly, now, because as we got older and I learned healthier habits & lost the weight, I was still always concerned about it. "Does this make me look fat?" Was a common question I'd ask to my sisters...hence.. the nickname "fat girl" came about.
As that girl, I always thought... "I want to be a runner". And "I can't". I think that is why it has been so hard for me to accept, "I can." 
Starting out I could never quite get past the disappointment of not being able to just go out and run. My chest would burn, legs hurt..and I would feel awful for having to stop. I would just give up.  I remember, a few years ago, sharing my "dream goal" with someone  and finding we had a common interest...we started running together. My first run was painful in every way. My chest burned, I couldn't breathe properly, my legs hurt after a few minutes...I had to stop & walk. But this time, I promised myself, I wouldn't stop trying. "I will run." It was a challenge. I will say that over and over... running is a challenge for me. It takes everything that is in me to get out there mentally and physically and do it. I was not born to be a runnner!
When I go out and run or hop on my treadmill it is my sweet escape. It is the one time during my day that is dedicated to "me". I get out there and all my worries go away. With every step, each time my foot pounds down onto the pavement..the wind sweeps all my stressful thoughts away.They melt into thin air.  And when I arrive home...everything seems and feels so much clearer.

I started off running in a few 5k races with that same friend, not to compete with anyone, but myself. The feeling of that natural high, that "I did it, I finished" was all that I needed to keep myself on track and pushing for my goal-- to get better.
Time goes by and people change for whatever the reason, or maybe they stay the same and life just gets in the way... So, I started going out on my runs alone...and sign up for a few longer races...

Last summer, I was asked by my husband's friend, to run a 9 mile race. So, I thought that would be a great "next step"...sure.. I can do that, I would just have to leave one day early from our 2 week vacation on the Cape. It was an adventure driving alone, in traffic all night, and unloading all of our stuff. Then waking up, after 4 hours of sleep.. to 80 degree weather and running 9 miles mostly uphill...haha  BUT the support I had by my husband's friend was AMAZING. He could have finished that race at LEAST an hour before we finished..but he stayed with me..motivating me... letting me walk when I needed to walk...talking me through the entire race.
His support was fabulous all the way up to the end when I was disppointed that it had taken me so long!  Complete, non-competitive, genuine support. (thank you.)

Last October, I travelled to Washington D.C. to meet up with a wonderful (long-time) army-wife friend. I ran in the Army-10 miler race. The longest race I have ever run... and I finished. It was an amazing feeling to cross that finish line. My body ached, my eyes were tearing, I was lightheaded, sweaty... my legs were like jello..but I did it. My time wasn't great... but that is not what I was there for. I was there to finish. To say.. "I can".

This April, I will be running in the More Magazine's Women's Half Marathon, in Central Park, NYC.  My first half marathon... A HUGE CHALLENGE.  I am still trying to keep myself in the "I can" mode. I've been following a training schedule, as if it were my bible. Each week of running pushes my body farther and harder than it's ever been pushed before. There are days that are more difficult than others, runs that don't go as planned...but I am blessed to have a wonderful husband & great kids who support me and cheer me on.  They are always supporting me in every adventure...whether it be baking or running...they are my biggest fans.
I am planning on running one more half marathon this summer with my husband's same "marathon god" friend. He's an amazing runner and great motivator, that I look up to!
I am surrounding myself with great people, who believe in me and are helping me toward each "next goal" and getting closer and closer to knowing..."I can".

SO in honor of all this hard work... I am planning on posting some healthy recipes, including a few gluten free one's (which I LOVE!!!). I will still be posting my regular baking recipes and pictures...but look out for a few of the other one's in between~!
And if you have any recipes that you are looking for or stories about your goals or journies that you'd like to share..please comment!
 I'd love to hear from you!

Check this out! My little story was on athleta chi!
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  1. Nice job! Loved reading about your running journey. Wish I was as far along as you. There are several fun little races in my area coming up pronto! I know its time to "kick it!" Best of luck on your upcoming race. 'Oh and very nice on the baking. Don't you love that?
    Thanks for the visit.

  2. Kelli, I enjoyed reading your story! I have always been a runner (ran track in high school), but ever since my daughter was born I've been an on-again, off-again runner. I've been letting myself down so many times because I'll run hard for a while and then life gets in the way and I just quit. Now, I'm probably in the worst shape of my life! I recently started back working out and hope to start running again soon. I SO wish I had your motivation!!! Way to go!!

  3. I am so proud of you! This is an achievement that boosts the confidence and provides encouragement to go "one more step". Well done indeed!

  4. Amy Ruth- "kick it" with any of your races and good luck!!! Thanks.. I do love baking!!!

    Alison- Good luck with your work outs & getting back into running! YOU CAN DO IT!! I have a slight obsession w/ the Jillian Michaels workout dvd's (shred,trouble zones, cardio max) and the bob from the biggest work out dvd's as well- on my off days from running!! You were a runner in high school! That is great! Is it hard to start back up for you or can you go out and run miles and miles??

    Katy- thank you! Thank you so much for stopping by!

  5. Thanks for sharing your story Kelli! I had high hopes of doing a 5K in April, but with all the breathing issues that have happened over the past 2 months looks like I won't be doing it. Maybe by the summer we'll be able to do a race together :)

  6. Good luck, how inspiring! I'll look forward to your gluten-free recipes :)

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  7. Challenging yourself is a wonderful thing, and I am sure this half marathon will end up being a breeze for you! :)