It's only February, but I realized today that I have already hit some major milestones in my journey this year, some with running, some with other things.
I've already logged over 50 miles this year, and I will be increasing my mileage as I continue half marathon training. Yes, more of it has been on the treadmill than I'd prefer, but that still seems to translate pretty well to runs on the road; my pace and endurance have been fairly equal both on the treadmill and on the road. I'm antsy to hit the road more, though, as the mileage on my runs gets longer--it's mega boring being on the treadmill for 45 minutes to an hour or more and hard to stay motivated to run.
I ran my first 5K of the year in January and placed third in my age group. No, there were not just three of us; I checked because I couldn't believe it, LOL! There were nine women in my age group; I'm guessing a number were walking, not running, since my speed was less than blazing. Still, it's nice to have a ribbon for more than participating!
I'm signed up for a 4 mile run in a couple of weeks and have identified one race a month to do (assuming the money is there for registering and I continue to stay healthy). They range from 5K to 12K in length up in preparation for my first half marathon.
I've taken the plunge and officially signed up for not one but TWO half marathons that are just three weeks apart, in June and July. I question my sanity a little at that, but I keep looking at my training schedule, and there is no reason why I can't be well prepared for the first one, rest a few days afterward, and be able to do the second as long as I keep my goal for both simple: finish. If I have to walk a good chunk of one or both, so be it; I'm far less hung up on having to run every step of a race than I used to be. I expect to walk some of both, at least through the water stations if not more.
In the non-running category, I recently bought and can wear size 12 pants for the first time in probably 13-14 years. I still have some 14s, but the 16s are gone; XL tops hang on me, and even many L tops are big. I'm now getting a lot of things in medium; it's still a mental shift for me to walk past the plus size/women's clothing section and head for the misses/juniors section. Weird but wonderful.
The really big non-running milestone was today. In January I lost a whopping 2.4 pounds, mostly in the first couple of weeks; the last couple of weeks have been up a little, back down a little, but not going past that point. This morning, though, when I stepped on the scale I saw a beautiful number I had not seen in a long, long time: 182.0. That means I have officially lost (drumroll, please) 70 pounds. S-E-V-E-N-T-Y pounds. I was beginning to think that I'd never get there. It's not my goal weight, of course; that's probably another 40 pounds away. But it's a major, major milestone on the journey. Another 3 pounds and I'll say goodbye to the 180s; another 13 pounds and I will no longer be considered obese. I could well be just 'overweight' by that first half marathon, possibly even reach my goal weight by the end of the year.
Running alone has not been the answer for me in losing weight. I have had to change the way I eat and develop a healthy lifestyle; I track my food closely with SparkPeople, I use a bodybugg to tell me how many calories my body is really burning, I do strength training to develop muscle. But running is what has tipped the scale (pardon the pun) to help me lose. I'd run even if it didn't, though; I have become passionate about running, and my body craves it. It's taught me how to set goals and achieve them. I've learned that taking it slow and easy to start and building from there really does pay off. Most of all, I've learned that my body is more capable of doing this than my mind sometimes thinks. Running really is a mental sport; once you recognize that and find ways to do battle with those inner voices of doubt, you are on your way. Keep running!