March 12, 2012

Running anniversary

Two years ago today, I decided to start training for a 5K race to take place the following October. I knew I wouldn't be able to run very far, but I thought since I had been training to walk a half-marathon, I assumed I'd be able to run about 1/2 mile or so.

I made it just shy of 1/10 of a mile.

My lungs were on fire, and I was gasping for air. And this was after I had just lost 73 pounds (I weighed 180 at the time I started running). I thought to myself, "There is NO WAY IN HELL I will be able to run a 5K... ever." But that short, 1/10 of a mile changed my life. I was determined to go a little farther the next time. And I did. Just 11 days after my first run, I managed to run a whole mile (albeit very slowly!).

My confidence increased with each run, and I started to feel like maybe I could do it after all. Somewhere along the way, I got hooked on running. I hated it with every cell in my body, but I loved the way I felt afterward, which is what kept me going. Eventually, I started calling myself a runner, which sounded so foreign to me. But I was so excited to be part of that "elite" group of people that I'd always been in awe of.

So today I am celebrating two years of being a runner. The past two years of running can be summed up in a small bar graph like this:
Here are some fun facts about the last couple of years...
  • I've run a grand total of 1,320.6 miles in 216:40:38 (hours).
  • Those miles were split into a total of 337 separate runs.
  • The most I've run in one month was 106.2 miles.
  • The most I've run in one week was 27.3 miles.
  • The most calories burned in a month was 11,646. That's the equivalent of over 55 Mrs. Field's chocolate chip cookies.
  • The most calories burned in a single run was 1,437, at the Indy Mini-Marathon in 2011.
  • The longest distance I've run to date is 13.1 miles.
  • My fastest mile was run in 7:45 on the dreadmill.
  • I've run nine races: two 5K's, one 4-miler, one 8K, three 10K's, one half-marathon, and one Ragnar Relay.
  • My current PR's: 5K- 26:57; 10K- 55:05, HM- 2:10:40
  • I've run a minimum of three times per week, every single week, with the exception of my post-surgery recovery (in Nov. 2010 and Nov. 2011).
  • Of the 1,320.6 miles that I've run, 301.8 were run on the dreadmill.
  • The longest run on the dreadmill was 10 miles.

Things I've learned over the past two years about running:
  • It is MUCH more comfortable to run in moisture-wicking clothes rather than cotton. And it looks better, because you don't look drenched in sweat.
  • Running doesn't have to be taken so seriously. The first year I ran, I thought any sort of break during the run meant that the run "didn't count". Now I realize that it's totally fine to stop for some water, to tie a shoe, to take a picture, etc. 
  • No matter how prepared I am, I will always be nervous before a race.
  • Finding the right running shoes is critical to being a runner.
  • Oatmeal is my pre-race breakfast of choice.
  • Running with friends makes the mileage fly by so much faster.
  • If I want to get faster, I have to do some runs alone.
  • Runner's trots are a fact of running life.
  • The longer I am a runner, the more I actually enjoy running. Dare I say I actually like it? ;)  (Nah, we won't go that far! Yet...)


  1. Kelly RheaMarch 12, 2012

    Congratulations! Love your inspiring posts! I'm ready to do another 5K after reading your blog.

  2. Awww, yay! My 2-year anniversary is this week! I still remember my first mile took me close to a full 15 minutes to do and I couldn't go any farther after that mile because I was DONE!

    I have the same love/hate relationship with running. I love the idea of it, but while I'm running (especially that first brutal mile), I find myself wondering why I do this to myself. Then afterwards, I love it again!



  3. You are so encouraging! I am looking to find a 5k race locally but there doesn't seem to be much. I ran 3 miles for the first time ever today!! My goal is a half marathon by the end of the year so I am training hard. Thank you for running the road ahead of me so I know that I CAN do this!

  4. When I started losing weight, I wanted to be a runner, but every time I tried, I'd give up pretty quickly. After I started reading your blog (and yes, I read it from very beginning and check it every day) I realized that I don't have to LOVE running. And I don't. I loathe it. But like you, I love how I feel when I'm done. I almost gave up last month because I restricted too many calories and had no energy to run and couldn't get past 1/4 mile anymore, even though I'd been running 1 mile - 1.5 miles every day before that. But after reading your blog, I took a day off to relax and figure this running stuff out, and I'm back at it! I add a little more distance every day and hope to be running my first 3 miles straight by April 1st. My first 5k is scheduled for 4th of July and I'm excited! (Scared, but excited!)

  5. This is awesome! I love that you've kept all this information so you could make that graph. Congrats on all your accomplishments!

  6. Way to go!! should be proud of yourself! I've just started reading your blog and I really have been enjoying it! Keep up all the inspiring posts!

  7. Congrats to you, Katie!

  8. As of today, I am 180 lbs, and I can barely BARELY run a very slow (13-min) mile. I did that in May last year, at around 215 lbs, and have never been able to go any longer. I've been really discouraged about it, because I really want to be able to run a full 5K one day. I haven't been trying to run for the last few months, pretty much giving up. However, after Jason and I get back from our honeymoon, I think I will get back to work trying to do this! I really want to be able to call myself a runner.

  9. Yay Katie! I love this post, and I love that you kept all your stats. You're so motivating!

  10. I had to look up runners trots. And I am glad I did because 1) it put off (mostly) my desire for said Mrs. Fields cookies (at least for now) 2) I will not be using it in the sentence I would have perhaps used it in IF I hadn't looked it up. I thought it meant something like pace. Um. No.

    You inspire me with your diligence and I come back for your honesty. Congrats on the anniversary. A great one to celebrate!

  11. At the risk of appearing very ignorant.....Runners trots?

  12. LOL I had to look up runner's trot as well. :)

    Katie you are so inspiring. I started running in Jan of this year. I have my first 5K next month - April 14th. I'm So excited. I hate running. But I love how I feel after. I'm disappointed I'm not losing a single ounce and my thighs increased in size. :( I promised myself 6 months to see what this does to my body.

    How did you generate that bar graph and all those stats? Have you really kept track of every single run? Via the Garmin? I'd have never thought to buy a Garmin for my first ever attempt at running. So I was curious how you tracked it.

  13. Happy runnaversary! :) Your perseverance and strength are admirable.

  14. Holy crap! You really ARE a numbers freak! I have all my miles logged on that damn school calendar and I then tally up for the week, then the month, but it's not filed anywhere permanent nor organized. I am jealous of your record-keeping!

    Congratulations on two years of running for cookies!

  15. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! you are truly inspiring!

  16. You are so inspiring!!! Slowly but surely, I've started to run... it's so amazing to see in total how much you have ran up to date!

  17. I loved this post!!! It helps me realize that I can do this! my 5k is in august, and I start training on Friday!

  18. Congrats Katie! You are proof that we all can do this, we just have to have the determination to be as fantastic as you are! Happy Anniversary!

  19. Congrats! you are truly an inspiration.

  20. I love the graph! Your so inspiring. Thanks as always for sharing! You make a difference in ao many people's days/lives by sharing your story daily. God bless you girl!

  21. Congrats on becoming a runner :)

    I went on a long run today (I'm training for a 10k- inspired by this blog!) and it was the longest I'd done in a long time. And I had the runner's trots! They always get me after 3 miles! There are restrooms on the trail, but I have my dog with me, and they aren't big enough for both of us.

    Alas, they are a fact of life.

    Thanks for blogging!

  22. Awesome! I love seeing how far you have come! My trainer got me jogging at the gym last week for the first time in 13 years! We were both in tears when I jogged a full lap without stopping! I walk/jogged a mile today! I don't know if I will ever be a runner, we will see what happens! I love reading your blog. You are amazing and inspiration! Keep up the great work!

  23. Hi Katie,

    I have a running question for you that i was hoping you could answer on Sunday. I'm fairly fit and lift weights a lot, but when it comes to running, I have NO endurance. I can run about 1.5-2 miles right now, but every time, without fail, I get side stitches after the first half mile or so. I can push through it and it usually goes away by the end of the first mile. Did this happen to you? Do you think it's because I'm trying too hard for my poor lungs? If you experienced it, how long did it take for your body to adjust to running and for you to not get them anymore?


  24. Jenn in JerseyMarch 12, 2012

    I just wanted to tell you how I love your blog....You are such an inspiration to me!! Thanks for sharing your story and being so real with things..

  25. So glad to know that I'm not alone with the runner's trots! The worst was when i was 1.5 miles away from home and no place to stop. Had to WALK back to make it! :D


  26. I love this entry! I have currently been running for 2 months and I feel like a different person. I'm excited to get better and better and feel healthier and run faster and longer. Keep it up, as always your blogs are uplifting and inspiring!

  27. Did all of that info come from your Garmin? Were you using it from the very beginning, or did you keep journals or something? I've just started trying to run in January and I'd love to be able to look back like this!

    1. I don't have a Garmin, but I use an app on my phone for running. Then it uploads to Runkeeper, so I can keep track of all of my runs just like Katie does. It's pretty nice, and efficient. I only have 2 months of data, though, so not sure how it'll do for the long term.

  28. You rock! Such an inspiration :)

  29. Wow, I can only hope I'll be where you are some day. I just started my weightloss journey. I am walking every day and hope some day to run, but for now I can barely walk a mile. But I'm not giving up! I read your blog every day. You inspire me and crack me up! :)

  30. Happy Anniversery Katie!!!!! That is awesome that you have all of that information!!!! I wish that I had that for all of my running!!!!
    I agree with all of your points except that you need to run by yourself to get faster, I find that the best way to get faster is to run with people that are faster than you!!!!!:-)

  31. I hope to be running like you someday! Such an inspiration, congrats on all your achievements:-)

  32. Now that is the story of a REAL journey. You're inspiring the world Katie--one blog-reader at a time!


    What great accomplishments! : )

  34. How awesome! Thanks so much for sharing. I am totally onboard with the "not liking it" until after. Yesterday I managed my first full 2 miles without a pause to walk, on my way to my first running 5K in a few weeks. I'm inspired to keep better records from my Garmin so I can make a pretty graph like this, too!


    I'm curious... When you say you started running was it more of a jog versus a run? Right now I manage a 15:30 mile jog - but personally don't consider that as "running." Perhaps at 12 minute miles I would consider myself running but right now I just call it jogging. I'm 258 lbs and the fact that I can jog 1+ miles non-stop is a pretty big deal to me - I'm sure people who see me trotting along find it amusing - in fact I find myself amusing! :D I would love to get to an actual "running" pace - so I'm going to keep on challenging myself to go a little bit further and/or a little bit faster each time. Just curious as to what people consider running versus jogging.

  36. Awesome! Congrats! I am inspired to keep going with running and weight loss with just the idea that two years from now I will be in a different place!

  37. Thank you for sharing your runiversary! I am so inspired by you. I am just starting the sparkpeople 5kYourWay. It's hard, but I'm trying to stick with it. Were you ever self-conscious when you first started out? Like you felt like people would think you shouldn't be running? That's how I'm feeling so I'm only going out in the dark...

  38. Christina CMarch 15, 2012

    Great job Katie. You've totally helped keep me inspired. I just finished my longest run last Sunday, 5.71 mi and could have gone longer but I got back to my car and those trots...ugh, I was running around looking for a real bathroom instead of a porta potty :-)

    Great job with your blog, you really inspire a lot of people with how real and honest you are.

  39. Congratulations! I love your graph! It's so awesome and I wish I kept better track of my runs. My relationship with running is the same. Recently I trained and ran for my very first half marathon, which is my biggest running accomplishment. I am still quite slow though, which most of the time I am ok with, but sometimes a bit discouraging.


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