April 14, 2014

Motivational Monday #59

Today's Motivational Monday post is another long one! I hope everyone has had a great couple of weeks. I obviously had an amazing time in San Diego for Ragnar SoCal, and I was so proud to see my little brother finish his first 5K on Saturday. But I am definitely relieved to get back to my typical eating/running routine.

Because this post is so long, I have to truncate it again--so I'm sorry, but if you're reading this on a reader of some sort, you'll have to click through to see the whole thing. Lots of submissions today!

Katie is feeling the runner's high of completing a fantastic training run! Her husband gave her a run clinic gift certificate for Christmas, and her "homework" was to run 5K on her own with a great time. She reduced her time from 72 minutes down to 54 minutes, and that included stopping at traffic lights! She's looking forward to an 8K race on May 4th, and feels very confident in her ability, thanks to this run! (Katie's blog)

Cindy Jo just completed her longest run yet--7 miles--in preparation for a half-marathon! She completed her first 5K last year, and her co-workers suggested doing a half. She said it's a scary goal for her, and sometimes she doubts her ability to do it, but she was SO proud to have accomplished her 7-miler!

Elizabeth just ran the Cherry Blossom 10-Mile race in Washington D.C.! The race has a strict 2:20 time limit, which worried her during her training. She obviously had nothing to worry about, because she finished in 1:58! There were many times she wanted to walk, but she talked herself into running a little farther... until she'd run the entire race.

Lauren (in the gray/yellow jacket) completed her goal of walking a half-marathon! She sent me an email back in January to ask about walking a half, because she was worried about the race's time limit. But she finished the Philly Love Run in 3:34, despite the 45 degree temperature and rain! She's already registered for her next half :)

Jamie just ran her first 10K race! The race was in her hometown, so she wanted to make sure to support it. She even finished five minutes faster than she predicted! (Jamie's race report)

Katelyn just ran her very first marathon--in PARIS of all places! She wanted her first marathon to be extra special, so she chose the Paris Marathon for her first. A year ago, she never dreamed she'd do a marathon--and she finished in 4:37:25! (Katelyn's race report)

Allyson just completed her first half-marathon! She ran the Rock 'n' Roll Half in Raleigh. It was hilly, and harder than she expected. Her goal was to finish sub-2:30, and she crossed the finish line in 2:29:29!

Recently, Nicole and her kids completed a 5K Color Run! Unfortunately, her husband had to work, but she and her kids (including her 11-month old daughter) did the race together and had a blast! They followed up with a vacation to San Diego and Las Vegas--and even saw some of the Ragnarians coming through La Jolla :)

Melissa had a very rough pregnancy, and was put on hospital bed rest due to severe preeclampsia. Not surprisingly, she gained a lot of weight. She read the Motivational Monday posts, and determined that when she got down to her goal weight, she'd be on Motivational Monday... and here she is! Six months later, through eating well and exercising, she's lost 70 pounds and 10 pants sizes.

A year ago, Dean sent in a Motivational Monday submission for completing his first 5K. That post led to more posts, as he continued to progress. I eventually invited Dean to join my Ragnar SoCal team. His progress over the last year has been HUGE--I've even started calling him "Dean the Machine". Yesterday, Dean did another 5K race on the one-year anniversary of his first, and his time improved ridiculously: in 2013, he finished in 33:27 (10:46 pace); and yesterday, he finished the same race in 25:54 (8:21 pace)!! Last year, he weighed 259 pounds; and this year, 198. Nothing short of amazing! (Dean's race report--yes, he started a blog!)

In November, Shelley (in black) joined a workout/weight loss challenge. Even though a quarter of the members dropped out within the first week, she toughed it out and kept going forward. She became friends with Lee (in blue) in the program, and they became workout buddies. They lost 20 pounds in 40 days, winning their challenge, and continued to push each other. Shelley convinced Lee to start running, and yesterday, Lee completed her first race--a 1-mile race to support the library! She did great, and has signed up for a 5K in a couple of weeks. Shelley has dropped over 100 pounds, and is working on her 5K and 10K times!

Lesleigh recently stepped WAY out of her comfort zone when she saw that her local running store was asking for people to model some athletic wear in a fashion show. She signed up, but then started to feel self-conscious--she's lost 70 pounds, and was concerned about wearing shorts with some loose skin she has on her legs. Instead of backing out, she talked to the store about it, and they had her wear capris--problem solved! She was super nervous, but it ended up being a great experience. She wanted to show other women that runners come in all shapes and sizes. She was given a shirt and socks as a "thank you" gift, too!

Krystal just completed her first 5K race! She sent me an email last month, looking for some reassurance about whether she could complete the race. I (tried my best to) ease her fears, and she did fantastic at the race! It ended up being mostly uphill, which was a huge challenge, but she was passing people and realized that just because someone "looks" like a runner doesn't mean they are in the shape to rock out a 5K! She had been nervous about being judged for her size, but she realized that runners come in all shapes and sizes. She ran the entire way, finishing in 46:20! She's already looking forward to her next race, and continuing the weight loss--she's lost over 50 pounds already :) (Krystal's race report)

Kristine (in the middle) just set a 6-minute PR at the Rock 'n' Roll Half-Marathon in Raleigh, finishing in 2:21! This was her fifth half-marathon, but her first since the birth of her daughter last May. She did most of her training on the treadmill this winter, because of the brutal weather, but still managed to do some long runs outside--even when her water bottles froze! She's also lost 70 pounds since 2011 :)

Kristina just completed her first half-marathon! I've "known" Kristina online since long before I lost the weight, and she was a big inspiration to me (she's lost a lot of weight herself). I'm so excited to see her board the running train now! ;)  (Kristina's blog)

Finally, I just have to brag about my friend Stephanie--she completed her first full marathon on Saturday! I've gotten to see her through her entire weight loss/running journey so far, and I was so proud to see her cross the finish line. Steph had volunteered to be a guinea pig for when I got my RRCA certification, so I wrote her a training plan and paced her to a sub-2:10 half-marathon. She trained SO hard through this awful winter we've had, and she ran outside through all the worst weather imaginable. She finished her race in 5:05:50! (Steph's race report)

Don't forget to check out the Motivational Monday Facebook post for more stories!


  1. Does Kristina have a blog?

    1. Yes! I just edited the post to include the link. :)

  2. Motivational Monday is my favorite day!! Way to go everybody! These are all great stories!

  3. I was just chosen to run the Chicago marathon. This will be my first full marathon. I've done 3 halfs in the past. Do you have any tips/pointers? Also I'm looking into training plans. What would you recommend?

    1. Congrats on getting in! Chicago was a VERY fun race. I've done three marathons with three different training plans, and my favorite (hands-down) is Hansons Marathon Method. I was in the best shape of my life for Chicago! But the plan takes a LOT of time commitment, so if you don't have that, I'd check out Hal Higdon's plans (free online).

      Whatever plan you go with, just trust the training process! Treat your long runs the same as you would the marathon--using the fuel you plan to use during the race.

      Best wishes!

  4. Way to go everyone! Such inspiration from you all, and full of admiration for you all!

  5. So many inspirational stories! One day, I hope to have my own addition for Motivational Monday. Thank you everyone for sharing!

  6. I love Motivational Mondays (even tho' I don't get to read them til Tuesday). I hope to be in one of your posts one day.

  7. Wow wow wow! Big time congratulations to everyone! What a wonderful Motivational Monday post!


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