Thursday, December 23, 2010

Leah's Little Luxury!?!

Running a luxury?  I was trying to think of a clever name for my first attempt at a blog and this came to me.  Not many people would consider running a luxury, but strangely, over the course of the past year, it has become just that to me.  The definitions kinda make me giggle.

I decided to do a blog mostly as a diary for myself to look back as my journey continues.  Through running, I found the following blog:  Mindy is a fellow runner that lives within an hour from me and we are able to share our love of running.  Her blog keeps me motivated.  If my blog can serve as any motivation to anyone else, then I have accomplished even more than I set out to do.

2010 was the year I took up running.  Anyone that knows me well was shocked!  I have been accused of not having an athletic bone in my body.  In late 2009, Scott and I were looking for a way to become more active.  We don't have a terrific gym in our town, so we thought we might do a little jogging.  In the past, when I would hear of people running, I would jokingly say, "I can't run to the end of my driveway."  Now, you must know, that I had turned 40 in late 2009 and while age does not bother me a bit, my body reacted almost immediately.  Just completing yet another move with my husband's job, naturally, I had also packed on some extra pounds.  I had been walking regularly in the fall, but to no avail.  My next thought was that I am going to have to do something that will shock my body.  Running, yes, that's it, running.  Another detail I noticed is that "runners" typically look healthy and strong. 

Some of the people that influenced me to start running were Diane Holtam, Leslie Hover, Amy Price and Erin Wingate.  Diane Holtam was my son's third grade teacher in Montgomery.  After moving to Eufaula, we were back in Montgomery one day when we ran into Mrs. Holtam in Books-A-Million.  We were thrilled to see her as she is on our list of all-time best teachers in the universe.  She looked totally different though!  She had taken up running, lost weight, and looked healthy and strong.  Mrs. Holtam was diagnosed with a very aggressive breast cancer in early 2010.  She has been so strong and courageous through the treaments and continued to run.  She has run several half-marathons and a full marathon. Praise God that she is now cancer free and lives as an inspiration to so many. 

Leslie Hover was a Creative Memories customer of mine when I lived in Mobile.  Once I caught on to the FB revolution, I "found" Leslie, only about 100 pounds lighter.  When I started catching up with her again, I discovered she had lost her weight the good old-fashioned way, through diet and exercise.  She was officially a "runner".

Amy Price and Erin Wingate were parents of two of my precious first graders in 2008-2009.  Amy had been running for a while and she encouraged Erin to start running as well.  I admired them for their tenacity.  Shortly after I started running, I found out that Erin had run her first half-marathon.  I had just come in from struggling through a few short miles, but Amy's celebratory Facebook post to congratulate Erin inspired me even more.  I was so proud of them and committed to myself that surely I could complete at least a 5K.

Now, you must know that my husband was my best encourager along my journey.  He pushed me to keep going even when I thought I couldn't.  Before we knew it, we had built up to running a 5K in our neighborhood every weekend.  We signed up for our first official 5K in April 2010.  It would be a small 5K to support our local Pace High School Band program.  As luck would have it, it stormed so bad all through the night.  I was already nervous and not sleeping well.  When the alarm went off, we certainly could have gone right back to sleep.  I think Scott was shocked when I decided that I was going no matter what.  It was misty, humid, and overall yucky weather conditions, but we finished and I felt PROUD!  We decided to commit to running a 5K once a month.  The journey begins...

Pace High 5K

April 24, 2010
My first official 5K
Pace High School
Time: 32:52

Stargazer 5K

May 15, 2010
Stargazer 5K
Orange Beach, AL
We were able to meet Biggest Loser Season 5 winner, Ali Vincent.
We also got to chat with Biggest Loser contestant (and more importantly, Alabama Football player), Roger Schultz.
The boys ran the one mile fun run.

Hot Trot 5K

June 12, 2010
Hot Trot 5K
Lulu's in Gulf Shores
I almost fainted at the end of this one.  I was so happy Scott was there to help me get to water, keep walking, and cool down.

Firecracker 5K

Blake helped hand out water at one of the aid stations.  He loved helping!  This was our first run in Pensacola.  It was a huge crowd compared to what I was used to.  I think there were a little over 1,000 people.  It was a struggle to get started in the crowd, but a great course once I got settled into a pace.  We ran downtown Pensacola, by the bayfront and right in front of Scott's office at the Gulf Power building.

This was the first time that I had the opportunity to meet Mindy.  I had been following her blog since I happened upon it while looking for results from the Stargazer 5K. 

July 3, 2010
Firecracker 5K
Pensacola, FL

Seafood Festival 5K

September 25, 2010
Seafood Festival 5K
New PR's for us!
Leah: 31:57
Scott: 30:12

Tuscaloosa TNT 10K

October 2, 2010
Our first 10K
Tuscaloosa, AL
My time: 65:53
Scott's time: 60:52
I placed second in my age group.  It was a small race, but I was so thrilled that we had accomplished our next goal.  We had arrived to Tuscaloosa after midnight and got up at 5:30 to go run this race.  The temperature was around 50 when we started.  It was such a welcome change from the heat and humidity we had been running in all summer.  There were lots of hills though.  I would say that after I finished this race, I was officially hooked!!

Senior Bowl 10K

November 6, 2010
Senior Bowl 10K
Mobile, AL
Time: 63:33
Above: Me with my blogging motivator, Mindy, and running friend Paige.
Above Right: Me with my friend Dana, who I taught school with in Mobile.  She was able to snap my finishing picture you see below.
Right: One of my inspirations, Leslie Hover.  She was a Creative Memories customer of mine when we lived in Mobile.

One important note about this run, it was in the high 30's when we started. I had my outfit all planned out with navy blue running shorts and no jacket, but had to make changes at the last minute due to temperatures.  Oh well, I realize it is much more important that I finished in a new PR time.  Fashion, I'll do better next time!

Red Nose Run 5K

December 4, 2010
Red Nose Run 5K
Pace, FL
New PR: 30:45
My Garmin measured 3.2-oh well, it was still fun!


  1. You are an inspiration Leah! Thank you for doing the blog!!!!

  2. Go, Leah! It was fun to look at your pics with the dates and run times. It's so great that you're doing this with Scott and family.