Tim Bergsten created this Ning Network.

The owners of Boulder Running Company threw a "Halfway Mark" party for the Women's FIT Team this past Friday.  I passed up an Artwalk at Cottonwood, a fundraising banquet for Northern Churches Care, and an Art Auction Dinner for the Alzheimer's Association to go hang out with my fellow runners.  It's so hard to believe we're halfway there already!


I was able to chat with some ladies about the Bolder Boulder 10K coming up on Memorial Day, and am even MORE excited to be participating in this race for the first time this year.  This coming up Saturday is the Take 5 in the Garden, and my running buddy, Lisa Darden, and I are doing the 5-miler.  I signed up for the "Long Series" as an "Athena," (women weighing 150 or more), but with the pounds dropping off me the way they have, I won't qualify in that division much longer.


Speaking of being an Athena, I am loving the way my body has been changing over the last several weeks since I started running.  You may have seen my previous post that included my body measurements, but what it doesn't show is how strong I've gotten.  For example, when I first started working out at the gym on my cross training days, I could barely lift any weights. 


                                Starting Amounts:                                  Current Amounts:


Chest Press                       20                                                         30

Lat Pulldown                       20                                                         40

Seated Row                        20                                                         40

Shoulders                           30                                                         50

Leg Press                           50                                                        115

Leg Curl                             50                                                         75

Leg Extension                    50                                                         70

Abdominal Curl                   50                                                         85

Biceps                               20                                                         22.5

Triceps                               20                                                        40


Did you catch that my leg press weight has more than doubled?  It's amazing how running is changing my body into a machine!  My husband has noticed the small changes, and says I'm "glowing."  My neck is significantly skinnier, my calves are smaller and more muscular, and my hindparts have shrunk 12 inches in the last year!  When I lie on my back, my stomach is flat (pretty soon it'll do that when I'm standing!), and my thighs are mostly muscle instead of flab!  It's incredible!  To think I was walking 2 miles two months ago, and now I'm running 6-7 miles on a regular basis and even ran almost 10 miles the other day!


Another big change has been in my mood.  Some girls at work commented on how great I look, but they also said I seem "much happier" lately.  How can I be blue when I'm running 20-25 miles a week?  I am overwhelmed at what I have accomplished in such a short time frame, and am totally looking forward to seeing how my body will continue to change over the next several weeks and months.  My sister Nichole was also singing my praises, saying she has no desire to run but admires me for what I've accomplished. 


But the biggest change?  My increase in self confidence!  A fellow Facebooker had this to say after I removed a negative influence out of my life: "Taking control of your health often leads to gaining new confidence in other areas of your life as well. ALL positive signs of a healthier life all around."  Who knew?  And that's not all, many Facebook Friends are sending me private messages of how I've inspired them, several have joined Weight Watchers and gyms as a result, one guy says I'm his "favorite reality show," and dozens encourage me every day with their comments on my Wall and photos.


When I started this journey, I knew that I would go through lots of physical changes as I lost weight and toned my body through the weight lifting and running.  But I had no idea of all the emotional and mental changes that came as a bonus.  I'll take every single one of them, and I sure don't want to ever give this up!  Now that I've been running as long as I have and enjoy it so much, I can't imagine ever being without it.  Or without my friends.  :)

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