My Running Story

First, here is some background information on yours truly. I don't remember the exact moment I started running, but I remember that it was in elementary school. I would run a 1/2 mile down the road by my parents house and then turn around and run back. In junior high I ran track and fell in love with it. I had a wonderful coach my 7th grade year who got me hooked on the 800. Unfortunately, he passed away that summer. My 8th grade track season got off to a rocky start when I tripped over a hurdle during practice. At that time the physician I saw said nothing was wrong with my knee and that the swelling would eventually subside. With that being said, I kept on running. I ran cross country my freshman year of high school and had immense knee pain. My knee would hurt and my knee cap would slip making it impossible to run. Over the next year it only got worse. At the end of my sophomore cross country season I finally saw another physician who told me I had a torn ACL and that I would I would probably never be able to complete at the level I desired to compete at. I was devastated! My parents were able to get me an appointment with another surgeon in Eugene, Oregon that was a friend of a family friend who was a friend to my aunt (makes sense right?). This surgeon, Dr. Ken Singer, was simply amazing. He said that he would repair my ACL and Meniscus and that I would be up and running in no time. I had my surgery in December 2009 and then began the slow PT process (this was not fun, my mom can attest to this). Eventually I began running again and was even able to run part of the track season. I finished high school with my senior year being the best. I was an average runner in high school, but decided to give college running a try. My freshman year at Eastern Washington University was a wake up call! I was so out of shape the first couple of weeks of cross country I thought I was going to die. Where did this elevation come from?! I grew up at sea level! I ran throughout college, but struggled. I wasn't a huge fan of the coach and it was hard for me to adapt to being the only female runner to being on a team. In high school the team was "me".

After college I took a year or so off from running & competition. I felt like my body needed some time to heal. I started running again the winter of 2008. My goal was to run the Bloomsday 12k in May in under 1 hour. If I did that then I would sign up for the CDA 1/2 Marathon on Memorial Day Weekend. Baby steps, okay? I ran Bloomsday in 58 minutes so of course I had to run CDA. My next goal was that if I ran CDA in under 1:50, I would sign up for the Portland Marathon in October. Yep, you guessed it! Ran my first 1/2 marathon in 1:43 and placed 5th in my age group. I trained hard for Portland all summer. I went into the Portland Marathon thinking I might have a chance at getting the BQ that everyone was talking about. Of course I wanted it more than anything, I just didn't publicize it. The race started and I instantly started to doubt myself. At mile 8 I almost thought about quitting, but I powered through. The weather was awful- it rained the whole race. I was cold, tired, and miserable. I ended up finishing in 3:37. My first marathon AND a BQ!!! I was beyond excited of what I had accomplished in such a short amount of time.

I ran Boston in 2010 and ever since I have been dying to go back. Unfortunately I didn't have the best Boston experience because my training was curtailed with an illness a couple of months before. I was proud of myself for getting there, but was disappointed with my finish time. I hope to be able to go back in 2013 and redeem myself.

After Boston I was done running. DONE. I didn't want to even think about running. I was so disappointed that I had worked hard to get there and then was barely able to finish. I had defeated myself big time! Over the next 9 months I didn't run, I didn't do much of anything. I ate bad food and packed on some pounds. Around Thanksgiving, my husband kept on mentioning nonchalantly that I should join this new fitness group at the Spokane Athletic Club called "Skinny Jeans". I was so against it. Every time he mentioned it, I said NO WAY! This went on
for a couple of weeks. Finally after New Year's I realized that I needed to do something with myself and thought maybe I should reconsider this Skinny Jeans class. I had recently started a new job and wanted to look good, but I wanted to feel good about myself too. I told Cam that I was thinking about maybe just getting a personal trainer for a while and see how that went. After reading the bios of the trainers that worked at SAC I instantly knew that I wanted Amy Black to train me. She looked like she could get the job done. She sounded like a kick ass trainer and had been a professional fire fighter. I was so nervous to call her, it was ridiculous. When I finally did make contact with her she said I should try the Skinny Jeans class and if that didn't work then we could do some personal training. Perfect. Just perfect. SIGN ME UP!

My first class was on Saturday, January 15th. I will NEVER forget that day. I have never felt so out of shape and fat in life. I felt like a contestant on the Biggest Loser. There was a lot of running and there were ropes and these things called kettle bells. What the heck did I get myself into?! I finished my first 60 minute class (barely) and went home and slept for the rest of the weekend. I could barely move on Sunday, I felt like I get hit by a fire truck named Amy Black. Parts of my body hurt that I didn't even know existed. I was sore for at least the whole next week, but I went back on Tuesday, and Thursday, and even on Saturday.

Amy gave me workouts to complete on the days that we didn't have class. I told her that my goal was to train for a spring 1/2 marathon. The workouts she gave me were geared towards that. Once I started to run again my times dropped pretty rapidly and I was finding that the combination of running and the SJ class was really beneficial. I ran the Windermere 1/2 marathon in May and almost beat my PR. A couple of weeks later I ran the Helvetia 1/2 Marathon in Portland and did beat my PR by about 5 minutes. It was an awesome feeling.

Here is a link about Windermere:

Here is a link about Helvetia:

I credit my workout buddy and partner in crime, Angie, for lighting the fire under me and re-sparking my interest in getting another BQ. I am hoping (crossing my fingers & toes) that I get another BQ at CIM on 12.04.11. I have never been so excited about running before. I actually smile when I run now. I get excited about my workouts and I have been thriving off of my training plans. I sincerely appreciate all of the time and effort that Amy has put towards my training. I don't know what I would do without her.

I started Healthy Diva shortly after I started the Skinny Jeans program in January. At that time I was at one of the lowest points in my life- I was fat, out of shape, and depressed. I had gone from running the Boston Marathon in 2010 to being a complete couch potato. I was downright miserable! At that time my best friend had started a blog to journal her struggles and triumphs while starting her journey on weight watchers. I decided that I would do the same thing. I figured that it would be a great way for me to have something to look back on- Healthy Diva was born! My idea was to document my journey through the Skinny Jeans program I had joined at the Spokane Club and also to post healthy recipes and my thoughts on getting back into running shape. Not just back into running shape, but being able to compete again.

Skinny Jeans was a HUGE turning point for me and a wake up call to how unhealthy I had become. Amy was incredibly inspiring to me. She was just what I needed to get myself back on track. Since January she has become not only my trainer and running coach, but a great friend. When I first weighed in, I weighed an awful 165 pounds. I was so embarrassed! Over the next couple of months I got my weight down to my first goal which was 135 pounds. I then slowly took for a couple more pounds here and there and weigh about 128 pounds right now. I lost count of the actual inches I lost, but I know that it was a lot. I have gained muscles that I didn't even know existed. I am in by far, the best shape of my life and I am proud of everything that I have accomplished in the last 8 months.

Here is a link to my very first blog:

Here is a link to my blog about Skinny Jeans:

Here is a link about "Shock Week":

Here is a link to my reaching milestones post:

Here is a link about SJ summer session:

At this point I have so much too look forward too. I am happy & healthy which is the most important. I have already signed up for some races next year (2012). I am excited about running my marathon (even though I said I would NEVER run another marathon again!) in December. Never say never, right???? I am even more excited about running the Houston 1/2 Marathon on the ONE year Skinny Jeans anniversary. How cool is that?!

2012 update:

I just realized that "My Running Story" link is a bit outdated. I ran CIM in December 2011, making it my 3rd marathon. My main goal was to get another BQ so that I could run Boston in April 2013. I finished CIM with a marathon PR, finishing in 3:21:xx. I was pretty pleased with my performance, considering my highest mileage week in training was less than 40 miles. I thought CIM was a great marathon and I would highly recommend it!

CIM Recaps:

I never really recovered from CIM, but continued to train for upcoming races. I ran the Houston 1/2 marathon in January (I HIGHLY recommend this race!!!!). We planned a vacation around this race so that we would be in Houston for the Marathon Olympic Trials and spend a couple of days in NOLA. The trip was amazing- I feel in love with Houston! Watching the Trials was so inspiring, but the high light of the week was meeting Desi Davila in person. I ran a 1/2 marathon PR at Houston, even while battling some weird foot/leg symptoms.

Houston recaps:

Upon returning home from vacation I decided to hire a running coach to further my running dreams. I had signed up for the Eugene Marathon for that April and wanted to use it as a stepping stone to running my goal marathon time of a sub 3:00. Throughout my training for Eugene I kept battling some weird issues with my foot/leg/back etc. It always seemed like one pain would lead to another.

I went into Eugene having some great training runs under my belt (including a 3:03:xx 24 mile training run!). However, I knew I wasn't healthy going into this race. I finished very disappointed in my performance.

Eugene Recap:

Following Eugene and a series of appointments and tests, it was confirmed that I have been suffereing from a severe case of anterior compartment syndrome in my left leg. I haven't been able to run much since Eugene. I ran Bloomsday a week after and snagged  a miraculous PR and then ran two 1/2 marathons before I was officially diagnosed. Since May 20th, I probably haven't even logged 20 miles. I was given clearance to run on June 27th, but it has been a slow process. Due to my injury I have missed out on two additional half marathons and the Ragnar Relay with Nuun and my Nuun Kids on the Block teammates. Missing out on Ragnar was incredibly devastating to me. I do realize that Matt has my best interests and that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Not sure when I will be racing again, but hopefully I can get in a 5K before the end of the year. My goal of running Boston in April 2013 might be out of the question, but I have come to terms with that. I don't want to go to Boston and run a mediocre marathon. I want to run Boston and kick butt!

My recovery process has involved a lot of rehab exercises and form drills. I am currently learning the concept of forefoot running which hasn't been easy. I am slowly getting the hang of it and I am hoping that everything clicks in place soon. I never realized how awful my form had gotten, but that is what over compensating for months does to you!

I am looking forward to this next year and what it might bring. I feel fortunate to have such a great running coach. Working with Matt has been the best decision.