Thursday, September 5, 2013

Runners Spotlight Let Me Introduce LINDSAY

Every runner has a story, which pushes and drives them to do what they do. Because it's fascinating learning about others.  In return it also inspires and motivates us, so each Thursday I run a Runners Spotlight.

This week I'd like to introduce LindsayI asked Lindsay several questions, to tell part of her story and introduce you all to her. 

Lindsay Blogs at
Lindsay in Training


Tell us what distances you like to run?
So far I’ve only done a handful of races but I think half marathon’s are going to end up being my race of choice.  It’s long enough to be a challenge but not so bad that you don’t know if you’ll finish.  I’m currently training for a marathon and my shortest runs are 3 miles so I think 5K’s in the future will be a goal for pace improvement.  I’m hoping to one day run a sub 30 minute 5K!
How long have you been running?  Or at what age did you start running?
I’m 25 and I’ve been running really only this year.  I’m in week 20 of my 30 week Hal Higdon marathon training plan and before that I wouldn’t call myself a runner.  I did a half marathon using a timed run/walk method but didn’t FEEL like a runner.  It was definitely a good way to start and a great way to work my way into consistent running.
What made you want to become a runner?  What is it that keeps you at it?
I always hated running.  I played softball and I was in the band and a cheerleader in high school.  I quit cheering as I had gained weight but continued with my other activities.  I always tried to get out of sprints or even the mile timed run in gym class.  My boyfriend’s sister told me I could finish a half marathon, even if I walked.   I didn’t know people even walked half or full marathons!  She talked me into going to a running group but didn’t tell me the first day was 4 miles!  I wouldn’t have gone if she had told me but looking back now  - I’m glad she didn’t tell me. 
That first half marathon I was in the process of undergoing genetic testing for Huntington’s disease.  My father has been sick for the last 20 years suffering from this incurable, genetic disease that affects a persons ability to walk, talk, and reason.  Every child with a parent who has Huntington’s disease (HD) has a 50/50 chance of inheriting the disease.  I woke up every day thinking and wondering if I was going to be just like my dad – living in a nursing home from the age of 49 with my life robbed from me.  I knew I always wanted to go through the testing process and knew I had to have all my “ducks in a row” to do that.  I had just finished college, I had a job and both life and health insurance before I was given the label of having a “pre-existing condition”.  
The half marathon was the Columbus Marathon on October 16th, 2011 and I was scheduled to receive my genetic test results on October 14th.  My birthday is October 20th and I was moving 2 hours away to join my boyfriend in Cincinnati after all of this.  He let me know that no matter what my results that he was not going anywhere and he was going to take care of me no matter the outcome.  That was the most important thing he could have told me in the days before I got my results and such a burden for him to accept but I love him and I’d do the same for him.  
My test results were negative.  I did not carry the gene.  I would never pass it on to future children and I personally would never, ever have Huntington’s disease.  The weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders in that moment with my step-mom, grandmother, boyfriend and genetic counselor at the Huntington’s Disease Center of Excellence at The Ohio State University.  My life would be forever changed.
I decided I needed to live my life to the fullest and never take anything my body can do for granted.  I fundraised for the local HD chapter and had a shirt made for the race that said “Doin’ it for Dad” and “Ask me about HD” on it to wear no matter what my results were that day. It was for him and his fight over the last two decades and my fight to regain my life.
I trained for the half and actually gained weight.  I was in the 200 pound range since the end of high school and college hadn’t been kind on my weight either.  I worked full time throughout my years of school and struggled to make it on my own through nursing school but I did it.  I finished the half marathon in pain, tired but with tears in my eyes of pride.  At the end I remember so many people at the finish yelling at me “Your dad would be so proud!” and I know he was too.  I broke down as they put my medal around my neck and felt strong and like I could do anything.  Two weeks later I signed up for the Cincinnati Flying Pig half marathon.
I walked that half with no real training and took a break from everything for the rest of 2012.  I was 245 pounds on my 25th birthday while I was celebrating with friends in Columbus and it was the night before the 2012 Columbus marathon.  Remembering my feelings crossing that finish line the year before I looked up the date for the 2013 race and it fell on my birthday – October 20th, 2013.  My 26th birthday.  I remember telling my girlfriends, “wouldn’t it be funny if I ran 26 miles for my 26th birthday?”…. the thought never left my mind the next day.  Or the next.  Or the next.  I needed to get on track and I needed to not take advantage of any more days of my life.  I researched training plans and found Hal Higdon’s 30 week plan and it started out slow and low mileage and I knew I could do it.  In January I made the official moves to change my life.  Completely cutting out pop (I drank a 32oz fountain Pepsi every day for lunch and Diet Coke when I was out to eat), counting calories using My Fitness Pal and getting moving.  I have a husky puppy that loved walking and we headed out for walks many nights a week.  I started on the elliptical soon after and at the end of March I began marathon training.  I started out running 13-14 minute/miles and now I consistently run 11:30-12 minute miles for my shorter runs and a goal of 12:30 for my race pace long runs.  This past weekend I completed a 12 mile run and this and next weekends I have half marathon training runs.  In the last 20 weeks I have come so far in my running and I couldn’t be happier with where I am today.  What keeps me going is knowing how far I’ve come and that I’m so close to the finish line.  I look at my dad for inspiration and those who support me in my fundraising as well.  In total since January I have also lost 44 pounds and this morning weighed in at 201 – I am so close to Onederland and that motivates me more than anything right now!
What is the furthest distance or race you have ever run?
To date I have completed two half marathons but I have two more in the next two weeks to add to that!
Have you experienced any trials/injuries/health issues that you have had to overcome? Tell us about them.
My second week of training I was finishing up a run down a hill (at 3.46 of 3.5 miles for the day) and I fell.  I sprained my ankle pretty badly and I was feeling defeated – I had just started!  I took 8 days of rest, stretched and iced it and got a brace and was back on my feet.
You had an incredible weight loss journey, tell us about it.  What pushed you to do it, and what tips do you have for someone who is struggling and in need of motivation?
I think I had finally stopped denying what I was seeing in pictures.  On the day to day I thought I carried the weight pretty well.  But my clothes didn’t fit anymore.  I’m a cardiac nurse and what kind of example was I setting at 245 pounds for my patients and co-workers?  I was walking up the stairs one day from my lunch break and I was winded after one flight.  I’m too young to feel like this!  I tried everything – Body by Vi, beachbody products, Weight Watchers and Adkins.  I had a food addiction and would sneak through drive thru’s on the way home and get something and eat dinner with my boyfriend.  I’d overeat to the point I had to unbutton my pants so I didn’t feel like I was going to explode.  I could feel how high my blood pressure must have been while lying down on my back and having this horrible feeling in my neck and chest.  I was getting scared and I knew I needed to change.  I haven’t even had kids yet and I was this overweight and had this body I was ashamed of.  I couldn’t believe I had gone so far off the path.  I took it one day at a time and cut out pop and counted calories to start.  In June I started working with an online trainer, Sara, at Fearfully and Wonderfully Made Physiques on Facebook.  The power of social media is amazing!  She made me a meal plan and gave me a weight training schedule to follow with my running. I knew I needed to add cross training and eat better foods than I was eating – even if they were in my calorie allotment for the day. I lost 14 pounds in July following her plan and I feel amazing!  When you don’t know what else to do there are all kinds of resources for help and support out there online and via Instagram and Facebook that I have found.  When you want it bad enough, it’ll happen!
Tell us what crossing the finish line feels like to you.
The finish line is always emotional for me. I know I’m doing it for myself but also for things much bigger and beyond me and I always cry.  Always.  I’m such a sap!   It’s such a cathartic moment.
Do you hope to be a lifelong runner?
I hope to be a lifelong runner but more importantly I hope to have activity and fitness be apart of my life for the rest of my life.  Always taking steps forward and not back!
You're training for your first marathon, how did that come to be?  Can we ask what race did you pick for your first?
I picked the Columbus Marathon because not only did it fall on my 26th birthday but Columbus, Ohio is my hometown.  My family is there, my friends are there.  I am so happy to have the opportunity for them to be at the finish line cheering me on after these last 30 weeks of training and changing my life.  They are all my biggest cheerleaders and I’m thankful for all of them!
What has been your favorite part of training for distance running so far, and your preparations for a marathon? 
My favorite part has just been finishing each long run.  Going just a little further than your previous longest distance each week is encouraging and challenging at the same time.  When I actually RAN 10 miles a few weeks ago it was a big deal to me because before I had never truly run that distance.  Double digits is a crazy awesome feeling!  Just knowing you are always stronger than you ever thought possible is my motto throughout this training process.
What is your favorite kind of running, solo running or running with a friend or group?
I’m a solo runner.  Music on and go.  If I need a short walk break to hydrate or get a bite of whatever I’ve brought with me to nibble on makes me feel like I’m not holding anyone back or slowing anyone else down.
Do you listen to music while you run?  Give us the top 2 running songs on your playlist.
I’m definitely a music runner!  I love anything that can get my feet moving from current pop to country music to the oldies.  My two favorite songs right now are “My Body” by Young the Giant and “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke has such a catchy beat I can’t help but jam out to it.
Do you cross train?  What types?
I weight train 4 times a week focusing on a specific body area with each session.  I also like to Zumba to mix up my off days from running!
What other hobbies/sports do you do besides running?
I’m very into concerts, travelling, and movies.  I’m also a nurse so the inner nerd in me likes going to science museums when we travel.
Do you have any tips of suggestions for someone who is thinking of starting up running?  
Slow and steady!  Go slow enough that you’re not out of breath and feeling like you’re going to die from the get go, it’ll only discourage you!  Get good shoes from a running store that fits you properly and get dri-fit socks, they make all the difference in the world when it comes to blisters!
What is your must have running accessory?
Iphone and fuel belt for long runs.
Favorite pre and post run food?
Pre-run I don’t eat anything – I eat more carbs the few days before a long run and eat honey stinger wafers while I run.  I have a very touchy stomach and have run into some bathroom issues on long runs.  Afterwards I love bananas with peanut butter!
Tell us something unique about you.
I’m a part time cardiac surgery nurse and I work full time as a pediatric cardiac intensive care nurse. I love my job(s)!  I want to eventually go back to school in the next few years to be a nurse anesthetist.
If you are a blogger, what types of things do you blog about?  What can readers expect if they start following your blog?
I am a new blogger as of this year as well!  I blog about my running and weight loss and the day to day’s of life.  Readers can expect me to be 100% honest and often times I over share but I don’t care.  I’m hoping others will see what I have done an be inspired to change their lives too.  One day at a time, one workout at a time, one meal at a time.
Lindsay's fundraising page for those kind souls who may be interested in donating is
You Can Also Follow Lindsay Via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram by Clicking On The Buttons Below

Lindsay thank you for letting me spotlight you!  Wow, your story about getting tested just before your half marathon and getting your results just before.  I bet it was such an amazing feeling to get the negative, and as well a fabulous Birthday present!!!  So impressive!  I know you'll do great with your training and future runs/races I look forward to reading about your first marathon.  What a great way to spend your 26th!!!  Maybe with this new trend, this means you'll do 50 by your 50th:)  Thanks again for telling us about your journey VERY inspirational!!!

5 comments :

  1. Great spotlight! Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Thank you for the wonderful spotlight!

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    1. And thank you for your willingness! I look forward to hearing your post after you run your first marathon:) Lots of luck with your training and preparation!!!

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  3. Wonderful interview! I'm so sorry about your dad, I am sure that is hard on everyone.Going through the testing must have been hell while you waited to hear. I'm slow and steady all the time or I just won't get done. :) Thanks for the motivation!

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