The Bench


2014-03-11 19.01.36 HDRThis bench is very symbolic to me. Last week when I was on my bike for the first time in 2014 I decided to ride the Heritage Trail in Hilliard – a trail that I used to ride when I first started cycling in 2011.

I haven’t been on my bicycle since all this weight loss and working out business so I was curious to see what this would feel like. You see, at 224, I’m the lightest I’ve ever been on a bicycle. So I unload my bike, stretch and hop on to start warming up.

I head out on the trail toward Plain City and I find myself rolling along with minimal effort but I notice something different – I’m passing everyone. So I finally look down to see what speed I’m going. 17.5mph.


17.5mph? With a heart rate of 155? That can’t be right… so I decided to push a little bit – get my heart rate up. I got up to 22mph and decided I’m really pushing it for a shared use bike path. I couldn’t believe how amazing I felt. I was smiling ear to ear!

As I was buzzing down the last section of the trail I saw it in the distance and then as I passed the memories came flooding back. It was “the bench”.

This bench is one of the last places to rest before you get to the end of the trail. Many a days I would take a pause on this bench to rest, eat, and/or hydrate. I once stopped at this bench a wrote an entire blog post on my phone (though for the life of me – I can’t remember which one).

Just a few short years ago there wasn’t a time that I didn’t stop at that bench and here I was today just flying by it like it was nothing. I did stop, one last time, to snap this picture as a reminder of how far I’ve come in my journey.

It reminds me of a quote that I saw on Pinterest –

“Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you can go just remember how far you’ve come. Remember everything you have faced, all the battles you have won and all the fears you have overcome.”

So that bench is just that for me. Though I know I have a long way to go with my fitness goals – I have come so far.

So that’s it! More later this week.

Until next time!

Goal – Run a 5k


Shamrocks and ShenanigansWow, it’s been a while since I posted! Sorry to keep you all in such suspense waiting for my next post… 🙂

Well, Sunday, March 9 I got up with my friend Jen and we ran a 5k in Ann Arbor, Michigan – Shamrocks and Shenanigans. It’s what I’ve been training for since January. It’s part of the reason I started out on this whole health kick.

John and JenSo the day arrives and as we drove to Ann Arbor I was downing cough drops to help combat this cold I’ve been fighting. We get to Ann Arbor and as we’re driving I realize – Ann Arbor is not flat. AT ALL.

You see, I’ve only been running on a treadmill and then did a “practice 5k” once at the park near my house with zero elevation. It was also about 20 degrees… much colder than my practice run. I put all these thoughts behind me and we went to go seek out some sun and to start warming up.


The gun goes off and it’s time to get this show on the road. We take some time getting over the start line but once we do we take off into a decent run. Now, being the second time I’ve run outside, I have no way of pacing myself. So I’m just trying to keep up with the pack and my friend Jen.

Suddenly we’re going down-hill. Which, being a cyclist, I knew this meant we’d have to come back up a hill at some point. Which we did, not too long after. I made it up the hill at a jog and kept going.

Then we got to the part I like to refer to as “the long eternal climb”. It was this slow climb all the way up to Michigan stadium. I had been running up to this point (over a mile) and finally my body was having none of this hill and I had to walk.

I did intervals up the hill to the top and then jogged down. I kept seeing the pace clocks and wasn’t taking into account that this was from the start and it took me two minutes to get over the line so I kept pushing myself to make up for a two minute deficit that I didn’t actually have.

Between mile two and three I kept doing intervals because there were more hills. Finally I round the corner at the bottom of a hill and I can see the 3 mile sign. As I’m approaching the 3 mile sign it is then I realize the finish line is .1 miles away – up a hill.

So I round the corner at the 3 mile sign and dig deep and just push up the hill at a run. After almost taking out a few people who bailed and walked right in front of me I made it to the top to see my friends waiting to cheer me on! Jen (who finished ahead of me) ran back out to cross the line with me.

I did it – I finished my first 5k in 39:49! My goal? Finish a 5k. My real goal? Finish my first 5k in under 40 minutes. I barely did it – but I did it!



Strava reported almost 200 feet of elevation in 3.1 miles. I kept a 12:50/mile pace which is almost two minutes faster than what I typically do on the treadmill and was a PR for me. It’s hard to believe that just two months ago I was starting Couch to 5k and struggling with just the 60 second jog intervals and I now am running a 5K in under 40 minutes. My first treadmill 5k took me almost an hour on December 28th – just to get some perspective what the program can do.

I have some posts to make up about other things but wanted to get this out there while it’s fresh on my mind! More to come this week!

Also, I know I say this almost every post but THANK YOU to everyone who is supporting me. I’ve struggled with weight loss/fitness my whole life and for the first time I actually feel like I might actually conquer it once and for all and finally be healthy! I could not have got this far without all the support my family, friends, Twitter friends, and Missy Fit Facebook support groups have given me! So thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

More soon!