Update 6/29/17: In March 2017, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. After struggling for years with what I thought was on/off depression, I was finally put on the correct medication. My mood stabilized, and I felt better than I have for as long as I can remember. I realized that running was not bringing me joy--I was dreading it, and I had already reached the running goals I'd set for myself.

With my newly stabilized mood, I decided to take an indefinite break from running. I don't know if it will be permanent or not, but as of now, I don't miss it at all. I still live an active lifestyle--going for walks with friends, staying busy by doing house/yard work, bike riding with my kids, etc. I feel odd with a blog called "Runs for Cookies" when I don't run anymore, but since that has really become a part of my identity, I just changed my banner to say "Ran for Cookies" instead ;)

That said, I am very happy with how my life is going right now. I am doing what brings me joy, and that is what matters to me!

Here is a list of my races. Click for the race report post.

These first three are half-marathons that I walked. The ones in 2008 and 2009 were before I lost the weight. In 2010, I was mid-way through my weight loss, and after that race in May 2010, I started running.

5/3/2008: The 500 Festival Mini-Marathon (walked-finish time: 3:45:57)
5/1/2009: The 500 Festival Mini-Marathon (walked-finish time: 3:51:28)
5/8/2010: The 500 Festival Mini-Marathon (walked-finish time: 3:23:38)

6/25/2010:  The Warrior Dash
8/20-8/21/2010:  The Ragnar Relay
10/17/2010:  Detroit Free Press 5k  (27:17)
10/31/2010:  Run Through Hell on Halloween 10k  (56:25)
4/2/2011:  Martian 10k  (55:05)
5/7/2011:  Indianapolis 500 Festival Mini-Marathon  (2:10:40)
5/30/2011: Memorial Day Run Happy 8k (47:23)
10/9/2011: Big House Big Heart 10k (55:13)
2/29/2012: Leap Year 4-Miler (35:15)
3/11/2012: Cork Town 5k (26:57)
3/25/2012: Rock CF Rivers Half Marathon (2:02:57)
4/14/2012: Martian Meteor 10K (a training run- 1:10:15)
5/20/2012: Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon (5:26:14)
6/23/2012: Solstice Run 10-Mile (1:49:09)
8/11/2012: Wood Duck Dash 10K (training run-1:05:02)
9/1/2012: Women Rock MN Half Marathon (training run- 2:08:43)
10/21/2012: Detroit Free Press Marathon (4:51:51)
12/9/2012: Jefferson Bears Jingle 5K (25:44)
1/4-1/5/2013: Ragnar Relay Florida Keys (I was runner #1)
1/25/2013: Runs for Cookies Virtual 5K (23:57--treadmill)
3/17/2013: ShamRock 'n' Roll 10K (49:23)
4/13/2013: Martian Half-Marathon (1:52:07)
4/28/2013: Glass City Marathon Relay (team time: 4:25:14)
5/19/2013: Rockford Half-Marathon (ran with my sister for her first HM!)
5/27/2013: Memorial Day Run 8K (40:31)
6/8/2013: Kona Run 10-Miler (1:31:16)
10/13/2013: Chicago Marathon (4:16:38)
10/27/2013: Wicked Halloween 10K (53:31)
11/10/2013: Monroe Half-Marathon (paced a friend to sub-2:10)
1/25/2014: Runs for Cookies Virtual 5K (23:46--treadmill)
3/30/2014: Rock CF Rivers Half-Marathon (paced a friend, 2:14:09)
4/5-6/2014: Ragnar Relay SoCal (I was runner #2)
4/12/2014: Martian Meteor 5K (26:11)
4/27/2014: Glass City Marathon Relay (Leg 5)
5/26/2014: Memorial Day Run 8K (43:43)
6/7-8/2014: Heartbreak Hill 5K, 10K, and Half-Marathon
6/22/2014: Lake Cadillac Team Marathon+ 10K (ran with Jerry for fun 57:21)
7/12/2014: Portofino Run for Art 5K (28:19)
7/19/2014: Escape to Belle Isle 5K (ran with Noah for his first 5K!)
7/26/2014: The Color Vibe (ran with Noah; untimed)
10/18/2014: Runner's World 5K & 10K in Bethlehem, PA
10/26/2014: Wicked Halloween 5K (ran with Noah--30:33)
11/9/2014: Monroe Half Marathon (2:08:18)
11/27/2014: Detroit Turkey Trot Drumstick Double (5K with Kendall-35:16; 10K-55:07)
12/14/2014: Santa Hustle Half Cedar Point (2:07:59)
1/25/2015: Runs for Cookies Virtual 5K
4/26/2015: Glass City Marathon Relay (Leg 2)
5/25/2015: Wins for Warriors Detroit 9K volunteer race report
10/18/2015: Detroit Free Press International Half Marathon (ran/walked with Jerry-2:50:55)
11/15/2015: Kona Chocolate Run 5K (35:43-ran with Eli)
11/26/2015: Ann Arbor Turkey Trot 5K (27:00)
2/6/2016: Muskrat Run 5K (24:51--a PR!)
2/29/2016: Leap Year 4-Miler (34:15)
3/6/2016: Kona Shamrock 10K (1:20:10--ran with Kendall)
4/10/2016: Blooms to Brews 10K (49:03--a PR!)
5/6/2017: Indianapolis 500 Festival Mini Marathon (walking--3:46:33)
5/20/2017: Forget Me Not 5K (42:41)

A question I get asked very often is how I got started running. Here is the story:

I wasn't always a runner. In fact, I was 28 years old when I ran my very first mile. I could never understand why anyone would run unless they absolutely HAD to. Running is NOT fun! But when I thought of "runners" as a whole, the idea was inspiring, romantic, and full of awe. To me, runners were part of this elite group of people that I could never be a part of.  I never, in a MILLION years, would have guessed that I would one day call myself a runner.

In December 2009, after losing about 40 pounds, I was creating a list of 30 things I'd like to accomplish by the time I turned 30 years old. I wanted the items to be challenging enough to work toward, but do-able. And on a whim, I included "Enter a 5k race and RUN it" on the list. Walking wasn't an option--I had walked 2 half-marathons at that point, so I needed to push myself. I was thinking to myself, "I'll do the Couch to 5k program, run the stupid race, and be done with this goal."

My friend Renee (who had just run a marathon!) suggested we sign up for the Detroit Free Press 5k in October 2010. I figured 10 months was enough time to build up to running 3 miles, so I went ahead and registered. In February 2010, I started a walking program to prepare myself for the Indy half-marathon that May. It involved 3 short walks + 1 long walk per week. I decided to kill two birds with one stone, and train for the 5k and the half marathon at the same time.

I kept the long walks for the weekends, and I used those to train for the half marathon. Instead of the 3 shorter walks during the week, however, I started my own little running program. At first, I planned on doing the Couch to 5k program, but I found it too difficult. It progressed too quickly for my fitness level, so I decided to do my own thing.

3/12/10: I went out and ran as far as I could. I only made it about 1/10 of a mile before I felt like I just couldn't breathe. My pace was just under a 14 minute/mile, which is slower than some people WALK. I thought there is NO WAY I'm going to be able to run a 5k by October!  I walked for about 30 minutes after the running spurt.

I took the next day off, and then I tried again. I ran as far as I could, which ended up being about 1/8 of a mile. Again, I walked after the running to total about 30 minutes. Skipped the next day, and then ran 1/4 mile.

(I told my brother that I was getting started running, and he suggested that I slow my running pace WAY down in order to run farther. I was surprised at how much of a difference that made!)

3/23/10: I ran my first mile in 13:43.  I continued to run 3 times per week, adding a little distance each time.

3/30/10: I ran a mile in 12:10--just a week after the 13:43 pace!

4/6/10:  I ran 2 miles! (13:17/mi pace)

4/9/10: I ran a 5k (13:21/mi pace).  Keep in mind this was just a month after I first started to run.

5/10/10: 5k in 33:59 (10:58/mi)

6/11/10:  5k in 31:37  (10:12/mi)

6/13/10:  Decided to add a "long run" now that the half marathon was over. Ran 4 miles in 43:30 (10:52/mi)

I continued on like this, running 3-4 times per week, including a "long run" once a week. My goal was to add distance and increase speed.  Even though I could run 5k, I was holding out for the 5k race in October--I didn't want to do a 5k race unless it was THAT one. Instead, I signed up for a couple of other races. I ran in The Warrior Dash (a 3.5-mile race through mud with obstacles); and I even did a Ragnar Relay with my brother (a 200ish mile relay run!)

October 17, 2010:  The day of my first 5k race!!  I ran in the Detroit Free Press 5k with my friend Renee. I finished in 27:17!

The entire time I was training for this, I HATED running. I dreaded my runs and the whole time I was running, I was always waiting for it to end. So you would think that after I completed my goal of running the 5k, I would never put on my running shoes again. But somewhere along the line, I began to love the way running made me FEEL. After a good run, I felt sweaty, used, a little achy, and powerful. My body felt like it was doing what it was supposed to be doing.  And I loved the fact that I had become a runner, even though I still did not call myself a runner.

I didn't miss a single beat. The day after I ran my 5k race, I ran an 8-mile long run. I ran 100 miles in the month of October!  On Halloween day, I ran a race called "Run through Hell on Halloween"--taking place in a city called Hell, MI. It was a 10k, and I finished in 56:25.

When I broke my jaw in November, I had to take a break from running for a couple of weeks. When I started running again, my body felt awful. I had lost a lot of strength and stamina. It was almost like starting over, but once I started, I gained my strength quickly enough. I ran another 10k in April 2011, and I ran my first half-marathon in May 2011, and my first full marathon in May 2012.

In early 2013, I took a class to become an RRCA-certified running coach. I don't take on clients, but I like having the credibility to back me up when responding to questions about running.

While running was extremely difficult in the beginning, it has become a part of me, and I feel very proud to be a part of that "elite" group of people (knowing now that they are just ordinary people like me who strive to achieve goals).

I have linked to a ton of my posts about running--from running lingo, to tips for a first 5K, to cheering on a friend who runs--and you can find a list of those here.

I have also written several training plans--from beginner to experienced and looking for a personal record. You can find the plans on my Training Plans tab at the top of my blog. Or click here.