''I'm Just So Tickled That I Can Actually Run!''

Lisa (SING4YOU57) has been a SparkPeople member since 2007. She has lost almost 200 pounds over the past 3 years through a healthy diet and regular exercise. Lisa went from running for 30 seconds at a time to completing her first triathlon in 2009.

Lisa Before Lisa After
Lisa Before Lisa After

What made you decide to start running?
I decided to start running for a couple of reasons. A friend actually talked me into doing a triathlon with her and I thought, "Oh yeah, you have to run in those don't you?", so I figured I'd have to practice some. The other reason was that if I were out of town or didn’t have access to a gym, I'd need a way to fit in some cardio exercise.

How do you keep your runs fun and interesting?
I'm just so tickled that I can actually run—so my runs haven't really been boring! I also use SparkPeople's Fitness Maps to help me come up with new, interesting routes. I also talk to the animals that I run past—like sheep and cows!

Were you intimidated to start running? How did you overcome that?
I used to think I was too big to run, too old, or I'd blow my knees out. I finally got over the excuses because I had simply never tried. So, I started slow (just 30 seconds) and built up from there.

Any tips for someone just beginning to run?
Start slow and build up your endurance using run/walk intervals. Invest in a good set of shoes to avoid injury—you won't regret it. And don't be afraid to push yourself a bit.

Besides weight loss, what other improvements have you noticed?
Increased stamina, better breath control (I'm a singer, so this is really important to me), and I've trimmed up.

What are some of your running goals?
My next goal is to increase my distance and speed. To do this, I signed up to attempt the a team relay (the annual Hood to Coast relay race). All team members need to run 10-minute miles or better so that the almost 200-mile route can be done in 31 hours. I'm also considering a marathon.

What are some of your accomplishments?
I finished a triathlon, I've completed one 10K, and I'm participating in a Susan G. Komen 3-day, 60-mile walk. My entire team has had to back out, so I'm doing it solo.

Anything else you'd like to add?
Don't be afraid to try. If anyone had ever told me that I'd enjoy running one day, I would have laughed—hysterically. I love the feeling of the sprinklers on a hot day early in the morning, and watching the sun come up as I run my path. I let the "I can'ts" rule for so long, I had a hard time believing in myself. But now, I think positively. I can't say that every excuse has changed to an "I can" yet, but I always tell myself that I'll try—and then simply take it from there.