578By Myriah George

I have completed my first half marathon – the Grand Canyon Half.

There are so many emotions when completing a long distance race. When they say running is mental, it is true.  I got a time of 2:14 but I really wanted 2:10 or under.  I think 2:14 is a great time, but those four minutes can really mess with a person.

Half14

I go over in my head what I should have done, how I could have done things differently and how I should have probably stayed with the pacer.

However, I think 2:14 is an awesome time and I also got to run a half marathon with my sister. Not everyone can say they got to run their first half marathon with their sister.

Big sister, little sister.
Big sister, little sister.

There are people that physically can’t run and there are also people who flat out just won’t run. For me, I have come a long ways mentally and physically.

 

Here is my story I hope it motivates someone to start or to continue their fitness journey.IMG_1185

I have struggled with my weight since I was thirteen years old.  That is the first time I lost weight.  My mother is naturally skinny or maybe she just doesn’t desire to eat like the rest of us.  I always thought that I needed to be thin like her.  I am not saying she contributed to the negativity in my head because we all make our own choices and how we feel about ourselves.

When I was about 15, I had put on about 15 pounds over one summer. I don’t think I was happy with the weight but I didn’t do much about it.  When I graduated from high school I had gained more weight. I don’t think I liked it but I just accepted it.  In college I maintained or gained maybe ten pounds, but for my frame it was not healthy (I am 5’1”).  In college there was always food and you could have as much as you wanted and there was always desert. Even though I did exercise it was not as intensely as I should have.

scottnm5I got married right after college and it wasn’t until a year after I was married that I made a commitment to lose weight.  It was at my brother’s boot camp graduation, he looked really great and happy. I became really inspired by his change.   I started exercising more and learning about proper nutrition and I did it. I lost about 20 lbs.

scottnm4                                                                        I maintained that weight until I got pregnant.  I was determined I wasn’t going to gain over 20 to 25 lbs. and I lost the weight pretty quickly after both of my pregnancies.

It was after New Year’s in 2012 and almost two years after my daughter Sara was born when I stepped on the scale and I was the heaviest I had ever been – that includes being pregnant.scottnm7

That year I turn 30 and there were a lot of other factors as to why I  gained weight.  I was also in denial that I had gained that much weight – I never weighed myself.

scottnm6I believe your metabolism does change when you reach 30 and I wasn’t happy with the way I felt or looked.  I knew I needed to make a serious change.  Slowing metabolism or not, I needed to change or I was going to head down a road that I don’t think I could have handled mentally.

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I wish I could say that I lost all the weight in a year and I reached my goal but I only lost about twelve pounds that year.

My sister, who was going through some life struggles as well, moved in with my family that year too.  After she moved in, we started working out together.  We got up early and did Insanity and other workouts.  We would also go on hikes together.  Shortly after that, she wanted to take a dance class.  So we found a Zumba class and started going to that a couple times a week.

Zumba Halloween dance party!
Zumba Halloween dance party!

My friend then asked if I wanted to do a Warrior Dash with her and we said sure.  I was really intimidated by the idea, since it was a 3 mile mud run but I started running….I was very slow.

Warrior Dash, 2013
Warrior Dash, 2013

We completed the Warrior Dash that year and it was fun! It was one of the greatest first accomplishments that would follow for me. Then for my birthday, my sister signed me up for a 5k Color Run.  I, of course, then had to continue running.

Color Vibe 5k
Color Vibe 5k

It was when I was training for these races that the weight finally started to fall off.  Again I was really motivated to continue.   I was gaining more confidence in myself.

I also signed myself up to run a 10k.  During the Color Run people were running to have fun and there were a lot of walkers. But with the 10K there where some serious runners. The course was on a trail and was mostly all up hill. I didn’t even try to keep track of my time.  The most I had ever ran was three miles before the 10k, but I finished it and that was all that mattered.

It was during my son’s first year in first grade that I started working out at the gym.  Previously I worked out at home, mostly to Beach Body programs.  The gym was a great change of pace and it was un-interrupted me time.  Even though, I think I was a little depressed – Seth had started first grade and was going to school all day.  I had always been a stay at home mom and it was an adjustment.  The gym made the adjustment a little easier.

I hurt my knee shortly after the Tough Mudder and I couldn’t run as much.  I found during that time that I really love weight training.  I have been lifting consistently for a little over a year now and also running.

Tough Mudders!! We were neither as clean or as pretty on the finish line.
Tough Mudders!! We were neither as clean or as pretty on the finish line.

The combination of running and weight lifting has really made a difference. I haven’t lost that much more weight in over a year but I have gotten stronger and leaner.  I hope to continue with weight training and running.

This journey has taken me 3.5 years.  My goal was to lose 40 pounds and I have lost about 36.  I think the last few years have taught me a lot about myself.

IMG_0190
Me today, 2015.

It has taught me how I want my life to be.

Being fit has more to do with mental fitness than it does with physical fitness.  The most important advice I can give everyone in their fitness journey is to tell them to fight for it every day.  It’s a process it doesn’t happen overnight.

Also having a workout buddy is a good motivator. My sister has been through a lot with me these last few years. From  our running experiences to our hiking adventures, she has been my workout partner and has became a great friend. Our lives crossed passed when we needed each other the most.  Fitness has brought the two of us together and closer – I don’t believe anything happens by chance.IMG_0203

God has also been a huge influence in my life. While my goals and accomplishments have been great, I do think sometimes they can overtake your life.  I want to continue with fitness in my life but I always want God to be the center of what I am trying to achieve.  I think God instills desires in us for a reason, and for some reason he instilled a desire of running in me.  I hope to continue running for a long time and to beat my own personal goals. Someday I hope to beat my half marathon time and to complete a full marathon.

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2 thoughts on “Guest blog: Why I run

  1. Myriah, I am so proud of you! As your college friend I can say that you have always been such a sweet spirit. While I didn’t struggle with the overweight issues in the same way, I was never physically fit or happy with myself. You and I have both taken the same path and seemingly at the same point in our lives! Exercising is definitely a mental choice and struggle itself, but running and distance running just multiplies that mental game by hundreds! The only way to stick to it is to make the choice for yourself and to DO it for yourself and no one else’s opinion matters at that point. And that’s when you find success at your own pace! And, for me, and I think for you, it is a competition with self and no one else! Again, I am proud of you and happy for you. I totally agree with your point of focusing on God and having desires of goals to meet. I’ve struggled to make sure I haven’t gotten too prideful. Keep sharing your story to be an encouragement to others! Love you, girl!

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