January 15, 2020

From Couch Potato to Runner: My 10 Proudest Moments in Running

In finding the motivation to run again, and to accomplish my big running goal next year, I decided to take a look back at my proudest moments in running over the last 10 years!

Again, I don't like to choose to put things in order, because it's too hard to pick! So, these are in order by date, from way back when until the most current. 

July 2, 2010

Running my first 5K distance under 30 minutes. I'm not talking about a race; I just mean running the 3.1 miles on my own. It was a hot summer day, and I went incredibly slow, but I managed to make it all the way through 3.1 miles in under 30 minutes--I was beaming with pride! This was just a few months after I started running.

August 5, 2010

My first eight-mile run. It took me three attempts to be able to do this! The first attempt, it was so hot outside--I actually got up to 7.46 miles before I just had to call it quits. I was so close! But I felt like I was going to pass out. 

My second attempt was when I was visiting my brother in Minnesota. He showed me a nice path along the river, and I thought for sure it was going to be the day I hit my eight mile mark. But perhaps it was because I was on vacation, eating foods I wasn't used to, who knows...? I just didn't make it. I only went 5.93 miles.

I was frustrated! I'd hit my other goals with running, but this eight-miler was killer for some reason. So, I decided (quite literally) to dangle a carrot to get this run finished. I bought a piece of carrot cake and I told myself that I couldn't eat it until I finished my eight mile run. And guess what? It worked! I finished eight miles a sweaty mess (that was before I discovered moisture wicking clothing). And the cake was delicious!

May 7, 2011

Running my first half-marathon race. I was still a fairly new runner, and knew nothing about training for a half-marathon. But I followed my schedule (I used Hal Higdon's half-marathon plan for novices). I had a HORRIBLE final long run, and I was sure my race was going to be miserable. 

I ran the Indianapolis 500 Festival Mini Marathon (13.1 miles) with some friends and family. I'd walked the race in 2008, 2009, and 2010--so 2011 was my year to RUN it! I felt like it would make me part of the "elite" crowd of people who can call themselves runners ;) 

I didn't try to hit a specific time--I just ran and enjoyed all the people, reading shirts and signs, listening to the bands play along the way, and it was fantastic. I was so proud when I crossed that finish line--a RUNNER. 

(My goal for 2021 is to run it again--on the 10 year anniversary--and to beat my first time of 2:10:40. I plan to start training for it now, so that I can really work up a good base before starting an actual schedule.)

April 27, 2012

Running 20 miles with Jessica. I'd done a 20-miler once before, but I'd done it by myself in the rain. I had SO much fun training with Jessica for our first marathon. Our marathon ended up being one of the most miserable experiences of my life, but the training was fun. And we were SO proud to hit 20 miles! We told everybody we saw that day while we were running. And we planned a big group dinner that night at a restaurant to celebrate.

November 15, 2012

This run involved TWO awesome things to be proud of:

1) I ran a 5K under 26:00 minutes. This is significant because way back in 2010, Renee and Dave predicted I'd run my first 5K race under 26:00. Haha! I always strived for that goal, and I thought it'd be awesome if I was able to hit it someday. So I was thrilled. 

2) I ran my first sub-8:00 mile! I was SO excited to see that I ran a mile under 8:00 minutes. That was a huge rush and I felt on top of the world.

February 7, 2013

Running an impromptu sub-2:00 half-marathon! Way back in 2010, I remember hearing my brother talk about "going sub-2:00" next year, and I had no idea what that meant. I was curious, and learned that it's a big goal for middle of the pack runners--to run a half-marathon under two hours.

Somehow, I was getting faster and faster as I trained (I'd built up my aerobic system by running slowly for training for the Detroit Marathon in the fall of 2012, and I think that helped me to really speed up afterwards.

I reached my first sub-2:00 half-marathon on my own, doing a tempo run. When I noticed that my pace was in the 8:00's, I wondered if I could do the whole run like that. And I did! I didn't just hit sub-2:00. I crushed it!

March 17, 2013

That time I accidentally ran a sub-50:00 10K race! This was the most crazy race for me, and definitely most surprising. I was expecting to run about 53:00, or maybe, if I was having a good day, 52:00.

The story was actually kind of funny, because I had no idea how good I was doing until probably the last mile and a half or so when I could see a pacer ahead of me--I had NO IDEA it was the 50:00 pacer, and when I saw that it was, I nearly freaked out. I made it a mission to catch up. I was SO SO SO shocked when I crossed the finish line in under 50:00! (Official finish time was 49:23)

August 30, 2013

Running in just my sports bra! (For the first and only time.) It's something I'd always dreamed of doing but never had the confidence to do. One day, I thought I would face my fear and just DO it--fuck what people think of me running down a busy road! (I actually did go down a well-trafficked road so that it would "count"). 

I was super self-conscious, and I KNOW my loose skin (even after having skin removal surgery) was bouncing around, but I felt so free. I was super proud of myself for doing it, even if it was only one time!

October 13, 2013

Running the Chicago Marathon and feeling like a million bucks afterward. I had run two marathons before (Cleveland and Detroit), and while I think Detroit had the best and most scenic race course by FAR, I was the most prepared for Chicago. I loved that I traveled there alone and didn't have to worry about anyone else. I had a panic attack when I arrived at the train station, and I almost turned around and left. However, Caitlin saved me.

You'll have to read my whole race report to see how it went, but I felt SO proud to finish that race and feel as good as I did. I ran more than ever that summer (200 miles per month!) to prepare (doing the Hansons Marathon Method) and I felt more prepared than ever. I also had a lot of fun during the race! That hadn't happened for Cleveland and Detroit--I felt so grumpy for those.

I trained for this race as if I was going to run sub-4:00, but I never planned to actually do that. I wanted to enjoy the race and not worry about my time. My legs felt fantastic and I loved it! I even had a Jello shot in the last few miles ;) 

April 10, 2016

I did have to save the best for last. I worked my ASS off for this one, and I couldn't be more proud of what I accomplished. I started September at 160-ish pounds and running an 11:00/mi pace for a 10K. I made a bold declaration (that I didn't really believe) to my friend Thomas--who lives in Oregon--that I was going to be back at my goal weight of 133 and run a 10K PR at a race out there in the spring. (He later said he totally didn't believe me, either, hahaha).

Lo and behold, I got down to 121-ish pounds and ran a 7:55/mi pace at our 10K in April! I hit my goal of a PR. You can read all about it on the linked race report post. That whole experience was definitely the proudest I've ever been as a runner. 

The common denominator of all these is that they happened at least four years ago! Haha, I really would love to have some proud moments like these again. And I'm willing to work for them! 

(If this post has all sorts of grammatical/spelling errors, I apologize. I've been working on it for hours, and I'd like to get it posted by 9:00, so I don't have time to read through it. Hopefully it makes sense!)


  1. You realize, Sweetie, that you don't have to do all ten in one post? You could easily do five one day and five the next--not just for this post but for the future. I love that you're blogging every day, but I'm afraid you'll burn yourself out!

    1. That's EXACTLY what Eli told me last night. I spent most of the day working on a different post, but I couldn't find the pictures I was looking for, so I ended up writing this one instead. I'm going to have to come up with some short post ideas! (Although I say that all the time, and I end up writing a novel...)

  2. Thank you so much for the inspiration! I have fallen away from running and am just getting started again. Your accomplishments and times are amazing! You give me hope that I can maybe beat some of my times! I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate what you do -- you reach and inspire more people than you know!

    1. Thank you! It's a bummer that my last big moment was in 2016, but it gives me some motivation to start working on it again, and hopefully the determination to see it through! :)

  3. You always inspire me to be better and do more. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2019 and i have experienced weight gain due to medication....i "ran" a Disney 10k last week and it felt so hard. Ugh. We CAN get ourselves back to where we want to be. I know it! You are a rockstar!

    1. I'm so sorry about the fibromyalgia diagnosis. That has to be hard. I have a friend with it, and she struggles so much! I hope you're doing well!

  4. You are such an inspiration! I am so excited to see what goals you reach once you start training hard again! I was excited to see that the Hansons Marathon Method worked well for you! I am also a middle of the pack runner, and am coincidentally planning to start that plan next week to prepare for the Bayshore Marathon in Traverse City in May! Some running friends made me a bit paranoid about doing it, and I started to doubt myself and wonder if it was "just a plan for elites." Hearing that it worked for you gives me extra motivation to do it!

    1. Hansons is fantastic! If you stick to the program, and do your easy runs at a truly EASY pace (read my post called "The Importance of the Easy Run"), you'll do great! I felt fantastic after that training.

  5. Katie I love reading your blog. I'm getting inspiration from you to get on the treadmill again this morning. It's below zero out there with the wind blowing and I used to pile on the layers no matter how cold it was. I showed my husband how you ran in the sports bra and you threw the F bomb out there! So funny. Yesterday was my first run in a long time and I'm just a little sore. I better stop procrastinating and just do it. Thanks for helping!

    1. It's so funny, but running in a sports bra was one of the scariest things I've ever done! hahaha

  6. I ADORE this post!!!! It made me realize I've been following you for a long time! A LOT to be proud of here!

    1. Thank you for reading for so long! There has been a LOT that has happened over the last 10 years of my blog. Crazy!

  7. Oh Katie, anything you do running, blows me away. As you know I've never been a runner. First of all, it was the weight, then it was the knees. Well I've had both knees replaced and lost the weight, and I still don't run. Maybe I can blame my age (69) now? Can I brag a moment about my oldest son, Mark, however? He's 47, always loved running (even as a young boy), was a member of a record setting relay team in high school track and also ran cross country. Over the years since, he has continued to pursue running sporadically, never really giving it up. In the last two years, he has really dedicated himself to becoming a good long distance runner and told me privately (it was a secret) that his goal was to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Well, last May, he did it. He and his wife traveled to North Dakota for a (what he had heard) fairly flat marathon race, and even though the weather was wet and cold, his time (I don't recall what it was), was a PR, and qualified him for Boston, which he has applied for and been accepted to run in. I am SO PROUD of him. He really wants his Dad and I to come to Boston (His wife is going), to witness this, and I really want to go, but Duane (husband) is reluctant. I wish I knew how to talk him into going, because not only would I love to see Boston, I would feel so proud of my Mark! Oh, and as Mark pursued his running, he foll,owed a Keto diet and lost 50 lbs., which he has kept off (the real challenge as you and I know!) He was never super heavy like my two other sons, but weighed somewhat north of 200 lbs., at 6 ft. Today, he weights around 155, and looks absolutely great. I am in awe of both of you!!!


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