It’s Easy for You!

I hear it all the time, “Oh that should be easy for you!”  It’s true that at this point, I have run 29 half marathons, 10 full marathons, 1 50K, and 2 50-milers, in addition to countless shorter races.  But I am here to tell you, it’s not easy.  My path to get here wasn’t easy.  And each and every run takes work. The only huge difference between then and now is the mental advantage of knowing what I’m capable of when I push through my barriers.

First, my weight journey has been a long one.  I went into the hospital to deliver baby #3 at 238 lbs.  Even after I got rid of the weight that naturally goes away after childbirth, I leveled out at a solid 196.  In February 2009, I stopped the sporadic work-outs and got serious. My goal: to lose 50 lbs — and hit 146.  By June 2009, I was down to 168. When I hit 168, the physical difference was large enough, that I plateau’d.  I stayed at 168 for the next year and a half, until I finally realized this was not my goal weight, and I didn’t have to be content with being “ok”.  I worked my rear off and by June 2011, I hit 150.  Held the weight pretty steady for about a year, then started to put weight back on and topped back out at 162. A couple months ago, I went back to the hard core, serious about being healthy version of me… and here I am, happy to report, that I now weigh 146.  My goal weight from over FOUR YEARS ago. It might not be 100+ lbs like some of the inspirational stories I read out there and even some of my personal friends who have accomplished amazing things, but I’m here to say, that at any size, IT IS NOT EASY.  It’s hard work. It’s ups and it’s downs… and hopefully in the end, the steps forward outweigh the steps back.

Second, the distance is never easy.  It doesn’t matter how many runs I do or how many races I run, if I’m running to my full capability, it is inevitably hard.  I may be capable of a 50-miler, but I can promise you I still struggle at many half marathons.  In fact, at a 5k this past December, I completely hit a wall at mile 2.  TWO.  Hit a wall.  You’d think as many distance races as I’ve run, this would all come easy and natural, but I’m here to promise, it doesn’t.  Even in training, while I occasionally have a double digit run that goes really well, there are days I’ve struggled to get in 5 miles. I ran a 9 miler last week, where I gave myself permission to quit at 6. But then I pushed to 7, then figured I was close enough to at least try for 8, and yes, I ended up doing all 9, but it was a battle, every step.  Just Saturday, I had a 20 mile trail race.  From mile 5 on, my body was done.  Not sure if I was under-fueled, my legs were revolting against the mileage build-up of the week, or the heat, humidity, and extreme hills were beating me up – but, no kidding, I think I walked at least half that race. HALF. I was walking fast, but still… I even logged the race as a “hiking” workout instead of a “run”.  It was that bad.  Again, it’s not easy. I struggle. Sometimes I fail. But I keep pushing. It’s not easy for me at any distance.

As a coach, I hear the same struggles over and over… I’m here to tell you:

– There are days I don’t want to get out of bed.
– There are runs where I feel awful the whole time – stomach issues or heavy legs or mental demons.
– I get frustrated with my pace all. the. time. (You’d think with all my experience, I’d be fast, but nope, still the same ol’ mid-pack runner that I’ve always been… back-of-the-pack on trails.)
– I struggle with comparing myself to others.
– The same “I can’t” and “Just” and “Only” that everyone else does come out of my mouth.
– There are days that I wonder why I torture my body and want to quit it all.
– I like to eat, and often I fall into the “over-rewarding your run” category, and I have to struggle to get back to the right intake.
– I’ve quit runs. Just flat out gave up and declared the run over.
– I’ve epicly ruined races by not following the race plan.
– There have been runs where I made a list of excuses why it was bad, when I know the truth is that I mentally just stopped trying because it was “hard”.

If you haven’t faced any of these things, you probably will! All this to say, running isn’t easy. Staying healthy isn’t easy. But when you do it, when you set your mind to it, and push through no matter the circumstances or possible “excuses”, it’s a triumphant moment, and it is always always WORTH IT.  So get up, lace your shoes, and go for a run!

24 Comments

  1. runbikescubaski | June 3, 2013 at 12:54 pm
     

    I really really needed this post today and knowing that it can be done. Weight has been a struggle lately and so has exercise. I hoping to get back on the wagon soon and get back to where I know I can be.

  2. Becka | June 3, 2013 at 1:04 pm
     

    Thanks for this post.

    Congrats on the weight loss, and it’s always nice (?) to hear that other people struggle with running, etc.

    See you in a few weeks!

  3. Rene' | June 3, 2013 at 1:25 pm
     

    I really needed this today. I jut ran 3.5 that seemed harder than a marathon and needed to talk myself into finishing. It is good to know that everyone feels that way sometimes too.

  4. Shellyrm ~ just a country runner | June 3, 2013 at 2:30 pm
     

    The path to good health doesn’t seem to have a single destination but a journey with a thousand trails.

    Keep up the forward progess on your healthy path and keep making us all think it looks easy. Even though we know it isn’t always that way. 😉

    I start a nice technical path tomorrow in the Whole30 (epic shopping fail delayed my start by a day).

  5. southernbrims5 | June 3, 2013 at 2:55 pm
     

    This was an awesome read. I’ve been back at running for over five years but as you know I am still very new to distance running. I really respect, admire and am in awe of all your accomplishments. To hear you STILL have bad runs and deal with the other bs was so reassuring.
    Congrats on maintaining the weight loss, Even in your “heavy” picture you look no where near the weight you were. Beautiful inside and out!

  6. Lisa | June 3, 2013 at 3:37 pm
     

    Nice reminder that it isn’t easy even if it looks like it to others. good motivation for me!

    and btw, i love that peacock tank top in the first photo comparison.

  7. Anonymous | June 3, 2013 at 4:24 pm
     

    well written! I love to run but STRUGGLE often to get going and keep going..thank you!!

  8. Jen | June 3, 2013 at 7:30 pm
     

    Awesome post! Thank you for this. The weight loss, the running, the miles are never easy but we muddle thru and stick with it all because it feels empowering to set goals, persevere and get there!

  9. Redhead Running | June 3, 2013 at 9:04 pm
     

    Great write up Lesley and congrats! Going to share with a few friends I know that could use the motivation.

  10. Karen Seal | June 3, 2013 at 9:28 pm
     

    Your story is awesome and very inspiring! Congrats on your accomplishments and I agree, it’s not easy at all!

  11. Mike | June 3, 2013 at 10:09 pm
     

    Good to reaffirm that others struggle with the same things. I start a lot of runs thinking, 30 minutes is enough (instead of the hour I planned). Then the mental games ensue, making deals with myself, counting songs, etc.

  12. Shannon (IronTexasMommy) | June 3, 2013 at 11:32 pm
     

    Love this! So absolutely true!

  13. Johann | June 4, 2013 at 7:28 am
     

    It’s never easy and it never becomes easy. You have to keep up the hard work to stay in shape to even run the really short races. I’m not a natural runner at all and even after 32 years of running I still have to commit, sacrifice and put in the work. Great post!

  14. LifeisaRun | June 4, 2013 at 10:27 am
     

    Love this post so much!! Thanks for sharing it, Lesley!

  15. Steph @ Steph Runs On | June 6, 2013 at 9:50 am
     

    Thank you for sharing your story, I needed it. There are times when I feel like I’m the only one who is struggling, that it is easy for everyone but me. I know it’s not true, but at times hard to remember I’m not alone on this journey.

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  19. That Pink Girl | June 14, 2013 at 1:44 pm
     

    Amen to all of this!!! Well said, sugar. And dayum, you sure are looking fierce these days – that smile says it all!

  20. Cheryl | June 27, 2013 at 2:53 pm
     

    Thanks for such a great post. And yes It is always WORTH IT! I have never regretted pushing myself off the couch or bed to get those shoes on.. After the run I feel so alive and satisfied. 🙂

  21. Steven Miller | July 8, 2013 at 1:18 pm
     

    Well done, keeping going is hard so I’m always happy to give bravo to someone who sticks at it and achieves.

  22. Jenny Lo | July 10, 2013 at 9:48 am
     

    Wow! really inspiring! Good luck to you!!

    jen

  23. Emma | August 8, 2013 at 4:55 am
     

    You’re a great of example to others of what can be achieved when we keep believing in ourselves.

  24. Joe | August 26, 2013 at 9:10 am
     

    I love reading stories like this, very motivational. Well done to you on losing weight!

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