Start now. Don’t stop.

With the new year approaching (and fast. what?!), a lot of people turn to talk of new year’s resolutions, fresh starts, etc etc. So I figured now was as good of time as any to share a little more of my humble running beginnings.

Basically, I was seriously the laziest person. My diet consisted entirely of things that came in boxes (read: not real food), and I thought it was the weirdest thing that people went to the gym, like more than once a week WHEN NO ONE WAS MAKING THEM. The year before, I signed up for one of those boot camp things at a gym, and it was SO HARD. I paid a ton in advance, and went twice (I think it came with 6 sessions). In one of the two classes I went to, we had to run around the building at one point (MAYBE a quarter mile, maybe). I could barely do it. I went inside and threw up. And then I stopped going. A few other times I would decide to “get in shape”, work out for a week or two, and then stop.

I originally started running in January of 2013 solely to lose weight. I still lived at home, and we had a treadmill from like… 2001. (It’s still there, and I still run on it when I’m home. Everything still works except the incline is broken.) I didn’t particularly WANT to run or think I would ENJOY running, but since the treadmill was there, and I was too embarrassed of how I would look while working out… I decided that’s what I would do. Also, it was January in Wisconsin. Without a gym nearby, I didn’t really have a plethora of options.

So, I started out running at 6 mph. I don’t really know why, but I just decided that was the pace that I should do. I made it about a mile before I had to stop. It was HARD. But something *finally* clicked in my head that this time I wasn’t going to give up after a week. So I just kinda kept at it. I remember when I finally ran 2 miles without stopping and was SO FREAKING PROUD OF MYSELF. I got to the point where I would run every day (this ended up being a mistake, for obvious reasons, since I’m still the most injury prone person I’ve ever met). I still worked at the library at this time, so I started to randomly read Runner’s World on my breaks or when it was slow. I remember reading an article that mentioned someone’s PR, and having to google what it meant…

It was in one of those Runner’s World issues that I saw a race in Wisconsin for that coming June. It was the Summerfest Rock n Sole – which has 5k, quarter, and half marathon distances. I thought – yeah – I want to run a 5k. I signed up and was SO NERVOUS. I wanted to finish in less than 30 minutes. I kept running.

And then it was April and finally starting to be less of a frozen tundra in Wisconsin, and I had lost just enough weight to feel comfortable being seen running by other people, so I started to run outside sometimes too (aka magic). And then my friend Morgan somehow convinced me that I should run the quarter marathon instead of the 5k. And I thought, maybe I could do that…

I mean, needless to say, I did it. And then I did it some more. And then I thought, maybe I can run a half marathon. And I did. And now I’ve run 10. And then I thought, just MAYBE, I could run a WHOLE MARATHON. And I freaking did! And I’m going to again. And then there’s that whole ultrarunning business…

I guess my point is, I think some people overestimate my running experience. But what it really comes down to is that I never ever stopped. I never stopped running or pushing my boundaries or knowing that I. Can. Do. Hard. Things. So can you. Start now. Don’t stop.


Mini TNF Thermoball Remix Review

So, if you know me at all, you know I am perpetually freezing. Numb appendages are the norm. Couple that with the facts that 1. I live in Wisconsin (where winter is basically 6 months of the year), and 2. I need to be outside and active or I go verifiably insane, so I take my cold weather gear VERY seriously.

[awkward selfie to attempt to
show thermoball awesome-ness]

Not gonna lie, when I first unpacked my Thermoball (it came folded up in a neat and tidy, approximately 5×6 inch little square, which I have never been able to replicate despite my pathetic attempts) I was skeptical. The thing is crazy thin and lightweight, and I thought – no way is this thing going to keep me remotely warm. How wrong I was… this thing is nuts. It keeps your core especially toasty, even if I get lazy and skimp on the base layers.

I think one of my favorite aspects is the sheer thinness of it. It isn’t even officially winter yet, and the thermometers here have already seen some disgusting lows. So the hugest benefit of this jacket for me is the ability to actually use it as a kind of pseudo-base layer. I’ll put this on under my other jacket and feel pretty much winter-invincible. I’ve been pretending it isn’t going to happen, but I know the weather here is only going to get worse, and I’m stoked to have this jacket in my arsenal to give me no excuse to stop getting out there. Trust me, you don’t want to deal with me when I’m stuck inside…

[I did receive this as a part of the TNF Locals Ambassador program, and this is my unpaid, honest review of the product!]