Run, Forrest, Run!

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life132 Comments


(My brand new Newton running shoes, + my iPod sensor pouch, in still life, 2010.)

Something really weird is happening to me on my Path to Better Health and Fitness. Something so strange, that I'm actually questioning the integrity of this new thing that seems to be creeping into my every day. In fact, those who know me well will do a double take—nay, even a spit take—at the revelation I'm about to lay down here.

I like running outside.

{Cue muffled and confused crowd murmurs, with the occasional, "PREPOSTEROUS!" shout rising up from the throngs of blog readers.}

When I laced up my shoes last January, me and my treadmill were thick as thieves, we were. We ran a tight fitness ship. I had my water bottle, my iPod, my stack of Kleenex, a fan, and complete control over my speed, pace and general basement environment.

No one would laugh at those decidedly less than official runner body parts of mine. Muffin top and jiggly tushka be damned. It was just me in my own Private Idaho, huffing and puffing my way to 30 minutes of non-stop forward motion.

Then I went outside. Once.

4 miles, give or take. One morning. The weather outside was a brisk 53 degrees and sunny. And I remember thinking when I was finished: OH MY GOD, you have GOT to be kidding!

(And that wasn't OH MY GOD in the good way.)

I knew that outdoor runs would be a necessary evil if I ever hoped to get into true 5K racing shape because the last I checked, there aren't a ton of 5K events revolving around treadmills.

I was sore after that first outdoor run. My muscles felt tighter than usual. It made sense, of course. Running on a treadmill where the "road" is moving for you is going to be a whole different animal than you running at the road. Still, I liked the control and predictability offered by my Sole F63. So sure, I'd force a few outdoor runs, and that would be that.

But something kept pulling me back outside.

One Saturday morning last month, I went out for a run at 9 a.m., thinking, "Oh, 60 degrees, no humidity…perfect for outdoor running." By the time I hit the 3-mile mark, I was en fuego. I was so hot that I was convinced that with a few more strides, all that would remain of me was a pile of gelatinous goo in Lucy black and yellow.

I remember thinking, "Okay, here's yet ANOTHER reason to stay inside the basement wonderland: no weather issues." (Yes, a 60-degree sunny day for me is a weather issue.)

But after a few more treadmill runs, it came back: I want to hit that lake route again.

Now for some of you, this will seem like a no brainer. I mean, duh! How could a real runner NOT love the outdoors, right?

But see, I'm still toying with the term "real runner." It doesn't feel effortless rolling off my tongue just yet. Although I will take strength in what one of the author's of Run Like a Mother (a book I strongly recommend to anyone who is a runner or is considering it), Dimity McDowell said in this video filmed at my local Title Nine store. She said: "Anything where you're propelling  yourself forward faster than a walk qualifies as a run in my book."

Fast forward to last Saturday, when I went out for a morning run with someone I never thought I'd see graciously plodding along to my right, rocking my 11-ish minute per mile pace: my husband, Dan.

Dan, a life-long runner and one-time marathoner, has been dialing way back on the running this year following knee surgery from a pretty ishy soccer injury a few years back. I figured he'd appreciate the chance to loosen up and keep me company in the process. 

I was actually nervous…nervous to lace up and head out with my own husband, a man who has seen me naked on more than one occasion. I think I was afraid he'd find out my secret, that I wasn't a real runner, because my pace was slow, or my gait was awkward, or because I stuffed wads of Kleenex into my sports bra to handle my running sports nose.

But you know what? All he found out was that his wife of 18 years was able to run a 4.1 mile route from our doorstep around Como Lake and back, in St. Paul, on a cool, cloudy Saturday morning. He tooks the hilly parts of the lake route; I stayed on the flats. He ran in the dirt path, and me on the paved one. He did some serpentines in and around the trees. I stayed the straight and narrow. Every now and then, I reached over and slapped his ass. Just because I could and to date, that's just something I've never been able to do on previous outdoor runs alone.

And when it was over, I felt elated.

Me. Outside. Running.

I immediately booked a weekend run with Dan for next Saturday, hot weather notwithstanding, and I realized that not only is this something I can do, but it's something I want to do.

I share this long-winded post with the hopes of inspiring those of you who always wondered if you could do this too. If you could lace up and head out. If you were as non-sporty as me and always thought, "Nah, I can't run."

My good friend and now avid runner Donna Downey and I were catching up last week on the phone, and she reminded me not so gently of when she tried to encourage me to just get out and try it a few years ago, that my reply was, "I'm not like you. I can't run."

Now if I can just tackle the over 60-degree and sunny barrier, I'm golden.


Check back tomorrow for a very sweet running related giveaway you might not want to miss.

Cathy ZielskeRun, Forrest, Run!

132 Comments on “Run, Forrest, Run!”

  1. #1
    jo sowerby

    wow cathy big whoops and congrats for getting out of ur comfort zone. i am also a non-runner and would prefer to never exercise ever but now find myself reconsidering. my sister has given me some exercise tips and dvds and i am gonna give it a go.
    Jo xxxx

  2. #3

    I agree with both the above comments, this was so funny to read but inspiring at the same time. I’m so happy for you. I want to be a runner too, my cousin runs whenever she can and she loves it, thrives on it, needs it. Just watching her makes me want to but that little afraid of falling and getting hurt stops me everytime. I walk instead but really want to run. Good for you cathy for going for it and not giving up. how cool to do this with your husband also. thanks for sharing with us. I love the shoes such a fun color.

  3. #4
    Lydia W.

    Thanks for sharing Cathy! I stopped in just to see if you had posted anything new and was drawn in by your story. I found myself running! I’ve wanted to run but there is something in me that holds me back. Tomorrow is a new day. My running day. Run, Cathy, run!!! : )

  4. #5
    Kathy in MN

    Thanks Cathy. I was looking at my marathon plan last night and…it scared me. My DH said “you’ve done this before, you can do it again”. Maybe its being 42+…or just that its a lot of running…or this freakin’ rain and NOT being able to run outside…or just life getting in the way…whatever it was, your post was just what I needed this morning. Thank you.

  5. #8
    Jan Hicks

    Cathy, your story is mine…well, except for the slapping your husband on the butt, part. 😉 I never liked to run, not since I ran with my boyfriend in high school and threw up along the way. I mean, really, who would do this kind of thing and LIKE it?? But once I started to get in shape, and decided to make a 5K my goal, I realized that running wasn’t THAT bad. Once we got to the point where we were ready to aim for a 1/2 marathon, and I did it, and completed it, and came across that finish line, it was the most awesome feeling in the world…at the age of 45, btw.

    My message to people is the same as yours – we human beings are capable of AMAZING things, if we would just get our brains out of the way and stop staying “I can’t,” before we have even tried. My favorite quote that I found on a T-shirt at the expo before the 1/2 mary, by John Bingham – “The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” All I ask is that people take that first step.

    Very proud of you and what you’re accomplishing, Cathy, and the message you’re spreading.

  6. #9

    Cathy, I’m the opposite of you. I’ve always preferred the outdoors and my eliptical machine gathers dust. Unfortunately the Toronto winters are not good for running. I have been a power walker and because of you (and Zen Habits) I’ve slowly been including running. I now run 1 1/2 miles out of my 2 mile course 6 days a week. The secret is going out at 6:30am – not too hot at that time and the traffic is quiet. Thanks for all your running blogs you certainly keep me motivated.

  7. #10

    Great inspiration! Now, when you get tired of Como Lake, you should consider coming over the the river road(s), or even the Midtown Green way. It would be fun to run into you along the trails.

  8. #11

    I’m sure I’m not the only one, but I DREAM of 60 degree running weather! I’m an indoor runner too most of the time, but last night I ran in 85 degree heat and unbelieveable humidity in Auburn, AL. So crazy. I’m not sure our lungs are made to breathe in weather like that. Good job on the running! I too am a skeptic turned runner…at least for this year. 🙂

  9. #12

    A big thanks for sharing your fitness journey with all of us. You’ve been a part of what has recently inspired me to quit fooling around and get serious. I’ve been a member of the Y for a while now, but only grudgingly going in often enough to keep up the insurance discount. What a waste of time!

    I’ve never been into anything remotely athletic. Up until 50, I could get by without exercise. After that milestone birthday, my mid-section really began to change, and not for the better! I felt by turns pathetic, hopeless and disgusted.

    Yesterday morning, I ran 2.5 miles in 3 segments, walking in between. Wow! Was I pumped! I feel so proud. I’m changing my internal messages to tell myself that I’m awesome and strong.

    One question for you: are you happy with the bra you ordered from lucy? Gotta keep the girls happy 🙂

  10. #13
    Dorothy F

    Not only are you inspirational and funny, you are one heck of a writer. You need to consider turning this journey into an inspirational book! Thanks for sharing this personal side of your life.

  11. #16

    Shyly offered — I “ran” last night. Well – truth be told – it was a “walk/jog” – but I jogged more than I thought I would or could. Mile and 1/2 … in just inside 30 minutes. My body feels “okay” this morning – a little tightness in my lower back. Tonight is Body Pump … tomorrow I’ll try the “run” again.

  12. #18

    Becky, i will be honest: i never had plans to leave my treadmill. I’m still a fan of them, knowing that in Minnesota, where i live, mine WILL come in very handy at 10 below zero.

  13. #21

    Oh, the river road. My hubby Dan ran that a ton when he was training for the Med City Marathon year back. May have to branch out!

  14. #24

    The Walk/Jog is the way to do it! That’s how I did it. At 3.3 mph on my treadmill. Walk four minutes. Jog 1. I’m not kidding.

    Over time, you build up! : )

  15. #25

    Cathy, you are so inspiring! I spent last year doing Weight Watchers – lost 40+ lbs. Along the way I added in walking (3 miles daily). Never in a million years would I have considered running as I had not ran in 30 years. BUT, in May (on the spur of the moment) I ran my first 5K. It was not pretty, (me or my time), but I LOVED it! I’m running another one in a couple of weeks…I say run, but it’s still a run/walk/run effort. My point in saying all this is, I did, I’m continuing to do it and reading your posts on running, weight loss, food, etc., is so imspiring to me! Thank you so much for sharing your stories with us!!!

  16. #26

    I’ve been running for three weeks now and am up to 3 miles w/o stopping. But it’s getting HOTTER and MORE HUMID here in Northern Virginia… even if I go out first thing in the morning, the temp’s down but the humidity is up. GROSS. I’m thinking I’ll have to start using the treadmill at the gym but it’s just so different than running outside! 🙁

    Way to go Cath, you real runner, you. 🙂

  17. #27

    Cathy, you remind me of me when I first started running! But I’m with Andrea in Alabama, I would LOVE to be running in 60 degree weather in June! Here in Georgia we are having temps in the 90’s and the summer humidity is killer. I ran the Peachtree Road Race (10K) for 15 years, and the starting time temp at 7:30 am was usually in the 70’s! Sometimes in August it’s like running with a blow dryer blasting in your face!

    Just keep at it!

  18. #28

    Cathy…it is just so fun and inspiring reading your running stories. Not so long ago I was a runner, too. And I LOVED it. I LOVED running outside.

    Now I’m a walker with a few jogs interspersed. You are slowly inspiring me to take it one step further and be a runner again.

    This post may have just done that.:)

  19. #29

    You are (and i don’t say this lightly) AWESOMENESS. Seriously. I am in the “considering it” category, desperate to take off a few pounds, and am inspired by your “not-a-runner” runner attitude.
    hmmmmmm. thinkin’ thinkin’
    Thanks, Cathy, for sharing your awesomeness, in the form of some real, and some real good, writing.

  20. #30

    Cathy! You are a real, freakin’ runner! I wish I could drag my husband out with me. Part of the problem is that we have three little ones who can’t stay home alone yet. That’s also the reason I’m stuck in the dungeon on the treadmill. But, I signed my 9 year old up for cross-country camp, with optional parent participation. I did it partly for her, partly for me. Last year I wouldn’t have even dreamed of it. It was different, for sure. Running trails, outside, with a bunch of overly energetic kids and other runner moms, can you say “intimidating?” I blogged about our first practice. It was definitely an experience. Please keep up the posts about you running, I love reading about it, it’s really, really inspiring.

  21. #31

    I am not a runner (I ride my bike)… but I get the whole being outside and doing something fun that makes you feel empowered…! My husband and I ride together and it’s totally amazing. I never thought I would be able to do it (we did a 100K every other weekend last summer)! It’s pretty cool.

    Thanks for sharing your story!

  22. #32

    Cathy, you have inspired me to start “running”. I’m about 4 weeks in, and I walk/jog for 2 miles. I’m 45 and it’s an amazing feeling to know that I CAN do this! Thanks for sharing your journey!

  23. #33

    yes outdoor running is the best! I lost tons of weight in my late teens early 20’s running…….now at the age of 41 I can’t run due to knee issues. I miss it so much and have gained 15 pounds!!!! I’ve been at the gym on machines, but there is no happiness inside. BTW, I ran in Texas, in the summer……the hotter the more I liked it!!! I’ve thoroughly enjoying your blogging and look forward to more!!!!

  24. #34

    Cathy I’m so glad you found the outdoors. 🙂 I’m also happy to learn I’m not the only one with “runners nose”. I put a Kleenex in my waistband every run. lol

    I do not like treadmills at all. So I really don’t know how you stayed indoors for so long. (good for you!!) For me, it’s just too easy to turn it off and walk away. I love the outdoors and in the 3 years I’ve lived in Misssouri, I’ve found my limits as far as temperature. 32 degrees is about as cold as I can handle.

    I did notice this summer, that once the heat and humidity hit, I had a week or so of adjusting and getting my “summer lungs” back.

    Enjoying your running chronicles. So how do you like those shoes? My husband uses them but I’m worried with my feet problems that there wouldn’t be enough cushioning or support.

  25. #35
    Julia Spencer

    Cathy, your whole fitness journey has inspired me this year. I came across a program to help me with the running. (C25K) And I feel like each new week, when I overcome the exercise, I can say… “I did it!” Even if it was 60 seconds on, 90 seconds off, “I did it!” My goal is to run in a 5K this fall, as, like you, summer weather is too hot! But I am doing both treadmill and outdoor running so I can be ready with both my lungs and my stamina! – Thanks for sharing.

  26. #36

    You are so inspiring. Reading your blog is like listening to your best friend talk. Love it. I started my fitness journey last week and look forward to building up stamina to get running. You rock Cathy!

  27. #38

    Sunday night I went on a walk/very slow jog with my 14 yr old daughter. She was awesome at keeping me going. I told her not to make fun of the way I run, but still I asked her “do I look really stupid when I run?” She said who cares at least you are trying. Wow I felt like I was the teen and she was the mom giving me advise. So I kept at it. But its tuesday and my thighs and knees are still a tad sore. Reading what you said about treadmill moving road not – it makes sense why I hurt. I would of done really well jogging if I could have worn an oxygen mask! I am going to try again hearing how successful you have been. Thanks for the inspiration!

  28. #39

    Like you, I still have a hard time calling myself a “runner” despite having run two half marathons and running 3 or 4 times a week over the last 3 years or so. One of my girlfriends says since I still run in bad weather (outside, no less) I’m obviously a real runner.

    I am so happy for you to watch your progression to the realization that “yes, it is possible.” We all sell ourselves short and I think most forms of exercise can seem intimidating at first. That first step seems really, really big.

    All that being said, here’s my two cents about running outside: I hate the treadmill. H.A.T.E. it. I actually PREFER running in cold weather (snow can be magical for running) and am annoyed to have to be up and out the door now no later than 6:30 to not die of heat prostration (anything about 60 is too dang hot). At this point, a nasty wind is about the only thing that keeps me inside. Oh, except snow. If there are more than six inches on the ground I’m stuck, but otherwise, you’ll need a pair of these and you’ll be good to go.

  29. #40
    Cynthia H

    You crack me up. I can so relate to being nervous about your husband seeing your version of exercise, despite the many other ways he has seen you in the past. That has discouraged me from exercising with him on more than one occasion, since he is so fit and I am so not. But I am working on it! The butt slaps are a perk. Thanks for explaining how a non-runner might just become a real runner : )

  30. #42

    Way to go, YOU, Cameron. I can only imagine that humidity. I mean, this morning, for example, i went out for a bike ride, and yes, it’s humid, but it’s not like Virginia humid.

    Ain’t no shame in the treadmill game. I should know!

  31. #43

    Thanks, Kerry. You should read the book, Run Like a Mother. Seriously. Ali Edwards told me to read it and it inspired both of us to up our athletic game! Plus, it’s just a well written, fun read.

  32. #44

    Deb, you know, my kids are in school, and i’m self employed, so it does make it easier to get out there. But you are rocking it. Seriously. : ) I’ll check out your post!

  33. #45

    Go Stacy! Just remember: don’t overdo it! that is my tendency and that’s why now, i’m mixing in biking and rest days! us mid 40s girls have to be cautious!

  34. #47

    Leslie, so far, so good. I haven’t felt any knee pain (one of my fears) in the three runs since I got them. I’m really trying to focus on my form and the whole Chi Running/injury free running approach, which is why i bought these shoes.

    I am looking forward to fall and winter to see how cold i can go. I LOVE the idea of being out there in much colder weather. We’ll see how that shakes out!

  35. #51

    Sue, you may want to pick up a copy of “Chi Running.” I am reading it now, and i plan to order the DVD as well. It’s all about relaxing your body and working with gravity and good form and posture. I am feeling no muscle soreness after my runs. Knee aches? yes. Some heel pain here and there? a bit (but i think that’s from wearing flip flops all day too!)

    I am really learning a lot from this book.

    GO YOU!

  36. #52

    Thanks for the link, Jeanette! I do think anything over 60 is tricky. I like to be cold and heat up.

    I still don’t hate my treadmill. I can’t explain why. I think i look at it fondly because it’s got me to where i am today!

  37. #54
    Laura A.

    Oh my gosh, Cathy, I think you will write a book one day! It is a good day when I start out with a smile/laugh from reading your blog post! Keep it up girl! You inspire!

  38. #55

    Don’tcha just love the Newtons? I’ve been a fan for years. They have changed my running style and made me feel more natural and comfortable when I run. Congratulations on your new athlete status. If you haven’t read “Born To Run” get yourself to Barnes and Noble right now. Definitely a must read if you’re a runner.

  39. #56
    Bea Medwecky

    I love reading your blog. You make me laugh with your witty little quips. You have inspired me to finally go and get an xray of my foot, so I can get better and begin the upward climb of getting fit again. Five years ago I was running 3 miles in 38 minutes. Now at 52, I’m lucky if I can walk a block! Thanks for the inspiration.

  40. #58

    Loved your post today. Very inspiring!! I thought of you the other day when I walked, and did the minute run, 4 minute walk. My knees were KILLING me later that day! ouch. But it was more fun than just walking. 🙂

  41. #59

    I suspect Dan found it very ‘Hot’ in the bedroom way to have his wife of 18 years running beside him.

  42. #60

    Your running posts have inspired me to start training for a 7K in November. Thank you for the humor and inspiration!

  43. #61

    I have NEVER been one to like cardio exercise. I decided before I turned 40 (in 2011) I needed to run 30 mins straight and complete a 5K. I am happy to say I checked those off my list now. I just graduated last week from C25K with my first 5K. I finished at 32:04..better than the 33/34 min goal I had. I still don’t love it but I also can’t let myself go back to ground zero and struggle at 90 sec. I need to stay motivated and fit it into working mom or 2 small children schedule. I just need to do it! I also am thinking about a 10K in Oct so that would keep me motivated. Maybe a 1/2 now before I turn 40??

  44. #62

    I am so inspired by you. In fact, I brought my check book with me to work so that I can go over to the fitness room (I work at a university) and sign up-just so that I can use the treadmill. This is the result of me reading about your journey this year. Maybe one day I will be a “real runner”.

  45. #63

    I have really enjoyed reading your tales…everyday I come here just to see what you have to say. My running story is similar…(a little). Having NEVER run a day in my life (other than some running class I took in college). I decided to run a 1/2 marathan last February because it was on my 38th birthday and I decided I wanted to do it. A group of ladies where I live (Georgia) run every morning at 5:00AM. I freaked out the first time that they told me the time. Needless to say I didn’t start training for my 1/2 until August of last year. Now living in Georgia keeps the temperatures pretty warm (or comfortable) until about December. Then it was cold (38 degrees to me is COLD). I trained in the hot, the humid, the cold, the rain, but wasn’t prepared for the weather at Disney this past January….snow, sleet & rain….after finshing that 1/2 in 2:24 I said i was done running…until a friend talked me into going BACK to disney and running the Princess 1/2 in March. I finished my second half in 2:04! I rocked (if i must say so!).
    Anyway, I’m still running….never on a treadmill though…can’t stand those things. Always outside. Even when it’s 98+ (like yesterday). My time is down to 8:30 per mile and I’m getting ready for my 1st mini-triathlon in 2 weeks. Swim, bike & run you say?? I still prefer the running, but wanted to say I did this too. I’ll take a small (very small) break in July and then start training for a full marathon!
    My mom thinks I am crazy…running half marathons, 10K’s and triathlons at 38!! But my girls think I am the BOMB!!
    Keep up the great work!! I’m here..cheering you on.

  46. #64
    sue p

    hey Cathy!

    try running on some trails in a forest. its wicked! smells great, good hills, fun cross training and you get mucky too!

  47. #65
    Jill W

    Your transformation is really amazing to me. I can exercise but running seems like an impossible task. I keep thinking that I should/could do this but it is really hard when you get out there. I am about as young as you are and while I don’t feel my age, it seems a little crazy to start something like this now (but I do have some good shoes)!

  48. #66

    Hey Julia! I’m doing the C25K too. It’s took me 7 weeks to move to week 2 but I’m moving through them week by week now. I’m hoping to run a 5K this fall too.

    Cathy I’m totally inspired by your posts. Before I’ve made it my strict personal policy to only run when I was being chased. I’ve been doing these workouts for 10 weeks now and still laughing when I tell people I run because it still sounds ridiculous coming out of my mouth. But I love the way I feel! Who would have thought? Thanks so much for sharing with us!!

  49. #67

    You go girl!!!! I cannot run due to hip and knee issues, plus I’m half again as old as you and body parts begin to wear out. So…..I’ve just gotten back into swimming – water aerobics and laps at the local Y. I feel like a million bucks and look forward to swimming outside in the lakes and river this summer.

  50. #69

    Bea, do it! i got both feet and knees xrayed in December, just to be sure i was good to go on fitness. They said, “Ain’t nothin’ wrong with you… you’re just older now.”

  51. #71
    cindy b.

    Good afternoon Cathy and KUDOS to you for running outside. 🙂 As far me? I continue to be a treadmill girl and would you like to know why?? Because here in Missouri, the act of getting out of my car and simple walking into the gym induces my sweat glands IMMEDIATELY. And when I say immediately, that’s exactly what I mean. For reasons such as 90+ degree weather and the humidity often more than that, I simply can NOT stand the friggin’ heat. Heat in Missouri gives a whole new definition to the word – know what I”m sayin?? And I’d love to run in the Fall, with a crisp, cool breeze but another thing about Missouri?? We often skip the lovely Fall and head dive right into Winter and it sucks. Have I mentioned I hate the cold as well? I’m crossing my fingers that the perfect 50 degree, no wind day comes along so I can pound the pavement and see what all this outside running is about but until then, I’ll be watching from the treadmill in my air conditioned gym!! 😉 GO CATHY GO!!!

  52. #74

    Shannon, that’s awesome. I’m hoping to do a 35 minute 5K. I have no idea if that’s realistic. I know that my Nike+iPod is awesome, but i think it lies to me on my speed and distance. Still, it is super motivating.

    Go you!

  53. #76

    Lynn, damn! That’s a good half marathon time. Geez. and 8:30 miles? You’re an animal.

    You know, i do swim. I swam competitively in high school. I have thought about doing a simple tri like the Danskin, but… i need to get back in the pool to see what shakes out!

    Running in 98… holy crap! go you!

  54. #77

    I really am hoping this isn’t a crazy thing… you know, for my body. To do this at this age, but i really love what it’s doing for my mind and my body.

    : )

  55. #78

    I also don’t think running is going to be for everyone. You know? I think any exercise is great, which is what i’m finally starting to “get” in my advanced age. LOL!

  56. #79

    Swimming is awesome. I am hoping to get into some lap swimming soon. I swam in high school on the swim team. I think now, with my better aerobic shape, i could do better than i think!

    Keep it up!

  57. #80

    I do hear you on the good weather. I mean, really… I am going to have to get up at 5 a.m. on hot days here. Then again, i have a much loved treadmill. It’s all good!

  58. #81
    Cynthia B.

    Kudos to you, Cathy! I’ve run/jogged before, but the weather conditions have to be perfect…hard to do since I live in Houston. It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity. (Yeah, RIGHT!)
    my husband was training for the marathon last fall but had to stop because of a bad knee. You make me wonder if I could actually jog with him beside me! The view would be better, at least. 😉
    Btw – the trail you guys have sounds great- dirt paths, trees…the scenery alone could motivate me. Run, Cathy, run!

  59. #84
    Angie F

    LOVE this post! THANK YOU!! I am currently walking with friends to beat the Missouri heat/humidity at 5:30am so we can all get back home to our kids and get on with our days. It’s working out well. I am hoping to move back into running, but I’m going to give myself time to get back into it. I trained for a marathon 2 summers ago and made it to the 12 mile training run and then the following weekend couldn’t run after 3 miles…I was so sad and scared I would get hurt if/when I started running again…no fun. I really appreciate the inspiration & encouragement! I was aiming for a 1/2 marathon this fall, but think I will give myself a little more time to get there.

  60. #85

    Cathy, my dear, my daily dose of reality and laughing with you sort of indulgence, you have crossed the line. I warn you, running is addictive. You’ll never be able to go back! When people describe it as therapy, sister, they aren’t kidding. Example: we live in Dubai. It’s currently what, 115 degrees and 95% humidity and I’m lacing up every other day and going for a run out there. And no, I am not a typical skinny minnie runner (yes, thank you, it WOULD be nice not to haul this around, but we work with what we have, and along those lines, damn you for losing weight and now weigh less than I do, how annoying and congrats all in the same breath) but running has become more and more important to me. I love it. You know why? Because there ARE no short cuts, there’s no faking it, you either do it or you don’t.
    Welcome. You’ve got the disclaimer now, but welcome to one great world. We’re all nuts…and we like it that way.

  61. #86

    Pure Inspiration!!! Even my 8yoa son who watches over my shoulder as I read your blog sometimes was impressed with what you’ve accomplished over the last few months! Go Cathy, Go!!!

  62. #87
    Shanon Gibson

    I love your fitness and healthy eating posts so much Cathy. You really remind us all that the smallest steps can make big changes! I am working on losing weight and we recently bought an eliptical trainer. I used to enjoy running a great deal, it was an awesome stress reliever. I am hoping that once I lose some weight and get in some more time on the eliptical that I will decide to start running again. Thanks for sharing your story with us! P.S. I love your new shoes!

  63. #88
    Hilary Ford

    Hi. I’m 45 too, and started running 7 weeks ago having done no exercise at all before! I started on the C25k programme, then DH took over as my coach! I can now do 5k in 34 mins! Outside too! Will keep reading your posts with interest.

  64. #89

    i love reading about your running journey and how you are growing in your run and the way it is shaping your life.
    yay you and dan for running together. you need a pic of that!
    also, i know what you mean about acutually saying, “I’m a runner”. it doesn’t come easy. this is my 3rd year running, and this spring i decided i will now call myself a runner. everyone thought it of me the first year, but it took me until now to be confident enough to go ahead and say it. 🙂
    go running cathy go!
    i’m training for my second 21k race for the end of august. i’m super excited about it. as i was reading your blog today, it reminded me of how i felt that first year i was running. thanks for sharing with us!

  65. #90

    There is something metaphorical about it. I will agree with you there. It’s something I am doing. No one can do this for me. A great push for that sense of independent success.

    : )

    But your weather? It would KILL me. ; )

  66. #91

    I definitely know that i had to shed some pounds before I could run longer, and with less obvious effort. Don’t get me wrong, there is still effort, but as i’ve lost weight, it helps the process! go you!

  67. #93

    21K? wow. good luck!

    Yeah, I’m just hoping i take care of my body so i don’t have to come back and post for months on end about how my running injuries have sidelined me! ; )

  68. #94

    Well, m’dear, I CAN run, and do, here and there, in fits and spurts…but I like my 15 minute mile walking pace. Aim for 15, sometimes hit 17, but I cruise. That said, I love, love, love walking outside. And not just up and down a street. I must walk neighborhoods, check out landscaping, try different routes, see how the painters did on that house, how the dogwood is blooming over there. I have a half dozen different routes, from 45 minutes to 2 hours. And in Seattle? I get wet and miserable cold sometimes, but it’s what a love.

  69. #95
    Teresa B

    I want to say thanks!! It has been 3 weeks since I started a program to improve my “health” as opposed to losing 75 pounds and I feel great!! I can’t run a mile yet….but I will. Thanks for the inspiration. What I can tell living here in Sacramento, CA is that your 60 degrees sounds like a chill I could embrace but I appreciate your heat concerns. I am out in 90’s doing my best looking very wet, flabby, and determined.

  70. #96
    Kathryn Whittaker

    You so inspire me! I tried being a runner once. It doesn’t like my feet. (Tendonitis in both of them.) But I can use a treadmill, and an eliptical. The treadmill is easier on my feet because of the cushioning, and there is not any pounding on the eliptical. I will try to keep going, just so you would be proud of me, okay? Thanks for the inspiration.
    P.S. Love your shoes. Usually I like straight white, but I could handle little bits of color like yours. They are great!

  71. #97

    Yay for you!!! My treadmill is still my favorite place to walk – being outside in Houston in May – October in 100 degree weather is only for the diehards – which I am not! lol

  72. #98

    I just wanted to let you know what an inspiration you are. I’ve been following your twitter as well, and every time you tweet a run I think, ‘Geez, Cathy’s running, I need to hit the road!’ I’m so impressed at how all of a sudden you’re going on 4 mile runs like its no big deal.

    I started using your fitness journal templates to track my own fitness journey in January, and it’s been great looking back on how far I’ve come. I was a varsity athlete in college but once I hit the working world I pretty much let exercise fall to the wayside. In the past few months I’ve truly gotten back in shape and in some ways surpassed goals that I wouldn’t have even set back then! So thanks to you for helping me jumpstart my journey, and for providing colored commentary and helpful links along the way! You rock.

  73. #99

    I restricted my runs to the treadmill for over a year before I got courageous enough to venture outdoors. And when I finally did, it changed my life! It was only when I began to run outside that I discovered a REAL PASSION for running!! In no time at all, running changed from something I wanted to do to something I NEEDED to do. Running is no longer a luxury for me. It is a mandate from my soul. It is an essential part of what I need to feel full. And those weather conditions to which you referred? I live in the desert (Palm Springs, CA) so my summer runs are nothing short of BRUTAL. When I hit the pavement @ 5:30 this morning, it was already 82 degrees! I keep telling myself, sweat is SEXY! I wish you a long, happy & healthy running career. You will discover a deeper strength than you ever imagined. Best, Marianne

  74. #100
    Christa P.

    That is awesome Cathy!! Keep going, keep going!!!
    I much prefer outdoor running over a treadmill any day, although this humidity we’re enduring in Coastal Carolina is about to push me over the edge!!

  75. #101
    nicole d.

    Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings! You have always been an inspiration when it comes to telling the stories behind the pictures. I love that the inspiration has transcended to something new, something healthy and yet still worthy of a story. I am off to my Crossfit workout!

  76. #102

    That’s a nice clip for walking. I am a SLOW walker. (Sort of like my running!)

    And having grown up in Everett, I remember the soaked and cold feeling well!

  77. #103

    Go Teresa! i know i shouldn’t complain about the 60. I’m a bit of a heat wuss. I’d never make it in Central California!

  78. #104

    Go Joanna! you know, it only seems like i just hit 4 miles outta nowhere. It wasn’t until April that i started posting my runs. It took four months to build up to that, starting with walking one minute, jogging 4. : )

  79. #105

    Loved reading this! I really feel that something has clicked with running. Again, i am not fast or all that pretty, but I sure like how it is making me feel.

  80. #107

    LOVE it! I, too, recently embarked on a journey that parallels yours…and I, too, am finally feeling I can call myself a runner. I would never have thought that even 6 months ago. Wow, what an empowering feeling!

  81. #108


    I want you to know what an inspiration you have been to me, in so many ways in my life. First off, your scrapbooking sytle hit me in a HUGE way and made me want to scrap my pics. Some of my first pages were with your first DYL class from BPS. Your style made me realize that I could make clean, simple pages that I adore and ignore all the artsy, whimsical stuff that is ‘popular’ and just be me.
    But the BIGGEST way you have influenced me was with your new-found love for running. When I saw you were running, I thought “I just cant run. Then you posted about the Nike+ system and I thought…..I can do this. I got one and it has motivated me to the point that I miss my run if I dont get one in. Can you believe that? I signed up for the Bolder Boulder 10K race in Boulder Colorado – altitude 5391 mind you – and with only 2 months to train, I finished the race in 1 hour 11 min. I havent run more than a mile since jr. high track, and I am 45 years old. I fell in LOVE with running! My next goal is a half marathon in September.
    Thank you for being such an inspiration. Your commitment to daily activity motivates me to lose that last 10 lbs and get my life in order before Mother Nature hits me with that permanent menopausal gut. : )

    Thank you for your inspiration and dedication.

  82. #109

    My mother told me of your temps today as she lives oh so close and my response was well it is 98 here and that does not include the heat index. (kind of like wind chill …does it really matter when it is that hot or cold?) Still went with my walking buddy at lunch and did 2 miles in blue jeans no less! BTW – I love Como Lake, and the Zoo….and Sparky the seal.

  83. #110
    Amy L

    Cathy, you both crack me up and inspire me. I’m sure dh is wondering why I’m laughing reading this while we watch the President tell us if we’ll be able to go on our Gulf Coast vacation next week. Maybe I’ll take a run down the beach!

  84. #111

    Thanks for the push….Since you and Donna have been doing this it has put a bug in my ear. Two years ago I lost 60 lbs and now it is creeping back due to the fact I left the treadmill behind. Now it is my behind that I worry about. I need a new pair of shoes and a good running bra and then I think I will give it a try. Thanks again for your encouraging words!

  85. #113

    Shari, that is so inspiring to read! holy cow! a 10K in that time, at that altitude? Amazing.

    I too find myself missing the days I’m not running, knowing that my body does need this rest, but like, tomorrow morning is a run day, and i can’t wait to get out and see how this one goes.

    : )

  86. #115

    There’s no shame in getting back on the wagon. Look at me. I’ve gone up and down and up and now on my way down again. : )

    You can do it!

  87. #116

    WTG Cathy! and to everyone else who has chosen to move their body.

    It never ceases to amaze me how we sell ourselves short, believing that we are not “real runners” or some other perceived deficiency. What matters is that you are “doing”. Confucius said, “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”

    I am an outdoor runner. I have a treadmill for times when a Canadian winter throws its’ worst at me, but I dislike using it. It can be boring, and then there was the time the cat stuck his paw in between the belt and the frame. He is fine, but suffice it to say that there IS more than one way to skin a cat. (Trust me, it was traumatic for both of us!)

    I, at 50+, also have issues with temperature and I try to run early in the morning. I live in a runner friendly city where I can run for more than 20K without ever having to stop for a light or a car. I especially love to run outside in the winter. With a hat that breathes (one by “Turtle Fur” is my favourite) and some gloves, it is great and you never get too hot!

    Just do not stop…

  88. #117

    Hey Cathy! You’re always such an inspiration! I’m feeling bummed though, because I’m starting to feel knee pain when running. Got a doctor’s appointment in a couple weeks and am reading Chi Running, but I’m finding it hard to do. Feeling a bit like I’m failing forward and the knee still hurts. Did the midstrike and lean solve your knee pain issues? Maybe I’m just not doing it right.

  89. #118
    kerri Macdonald

    Congrats Cathy!!! And thank you for your inspiration! I love reading your blog and after your post last week where you told us how you were doing the exercise thing every. single. day. …I have been trying to do the same and heck it seems to be working I lost 4 pounds last week! So keep on running!

  90. #119
    Sharon F. CA

    pretty darn awesome! Its like graduation, no one can do it for you…I can feel your pride coming through the computer screen. Keep on truckin’ sister!

  91. #120
    Tracy Blanton

    Hey Cathy-
    I’ve posted before on this whole fitness thing with you before and think it is so awesome to see your progress. I am having some of the same success myself and it has been so empowering.
    I’ve been working with a personal trainer and she kicks my butt every time I see her. But I keep going…and I am actually PAYING her to torture me. But here’s the deal–I am getting in great shape. I’ve lost about 11 pounds (eating really well, too…) and I’ve come to crave the exercise. I can’t believe I am saying it, because in my 40 years I have never felt that way.
    And the best part is–when I am at the gym and I look in the mirror, I like that strong girl that I see. And every time I see someone working and trying and sweating, I want to say “keep it up, you can do it…” It’s really never too late 🙂

  92. #121
    Tracy Blanton

    Try something different! I have a difficult time running, but I do the eliptical and stair machine at the gym. Just be sure to listen to your body…

  93. #122

    Hi Cathy,

    Just wanted to thank you for ALL of your motivating posts. You are a riot to read … and your posts about getting back in shape really strike a cord in me as I have been on this road for 2-1/2 years now. I’ve lost 140 pounds, and fitness is a learned behavior that I’ve made a part of my life today.

    I’ve never been a runner. When I was in boot camp (Army) we had to run a 9-minute mile. I thought it would kill me. That was the last time I ran for any purpose! And that was 30 years ago! If anyone would have told me I’d be running outside in public 10 years ago I would have laughed my head off!! In fact, 6 months ago I would have chuckled and shrugged off the notion. I, too, started on my trusty treadmill and have moved outdoors with the better weather. There is a BIG difference between the two and running outdoors is definitely the bigger challenge. But I feel so much more ACCOMPLISHED when I’ve run outdoors! I’m loving the endorphins from that! 🙂 Running a 5K? That’s only 3.1 miles … I could do that! I wouldn’t break any time records, but it’s doable. This is still amazing to me, that I “CAN” run, that I “DO” run. So I’ve been checking out upcoming local 5K’s. This thrills me to no end … I can actually DO this!!

    I remember when my 4yo ds (now 17) saw me (then probably 225 lbs)run a shopping cart to the parking lot corral & then back to the car. When I got back in the car he exclaimed, “Mom! I didn’t know you could run!” How ashamed I was that day, but I still didn’t make any changes for many years. I’m only conveying this little story to say it doesn’t matter how old you are when you begin, it just matters to begin!

    Thanks for sharing your journey, Cathy … you are an inspiration and, even better, you are teaching your children that it’s important to take care of themselves. I wish I would’ve started earlier for my children’s benefit (and mine as well!).

  94. #123

    I did it! I signed up for the fitness room at work and then actually went in and used the treadmill for 20 minutes. Can’t say (yet) that I enjoyed it; mostly I found it boring, but, like you said, baby steps. I’ve taken the first step. Thanks for the inspiration.

  95. #124

    Great post. I’m still working to get the 5K confidently under my belt and teater between outdoors and my treadmill. I have my treadmill set on an inclide and so it seems harder to me but forces me to keep pace so I think it’s probably better overall. I live in Alabama so this time of year I’m opting for indoors with AC but spring and winter were great outdoors. Love your blog!

  96. #125
    Donna Tullis

    i swear you make me want to leave work…hehehehe…and take off runnign…cuz as you said in the past…i am not a runner, but you really do make me want to give it a go…i am currently going to my local rec center (past 2 1/2 months) taking zumba and the evil core & more and am shocked and totally elated with my being able to do it, because just back 3 months ago, my feet were so bad- due to weight- that i could hardly walk, and yes they still hurt but with the weight loss (25 lbs) it has improved so much, although bone spurs, plantar fasciitis and nueroma are not going away…the weight totally helps, plus i wear a kids size 3-1/2 shoe…talk about a joke, especially when my butt is not kid sized! anyway…i chase rabbits…you totaly INSPIRE me daily…and i sooooo want to give the running a try…but, have allllll those little doubts running around in my head…i will keep you posted when i kick their butt outta my head and hit the pavement! thanks cathy…you have no idea how much impact you have, i am so thankful for you!

  97. #126
    Chatty Scrapper - Kari R'ville

    Cool hat, great for all sorts of outdoor sporty activities. For me namely golf (if I ever do it again, haven’t much since being hurt from a work injury 2 years ago during golf season & being pregnant last year) and now thanks to your inspiration maybe running regularly by next year.

    Thanks to you after a nearly 20 year hiatus I’m considering running again. Was plagued by injuries alot in H.S. but am considering giving it a shot again. I can always take it a bit easier this time around. For the first time in years I’ve started adding in some intervals of running when on the treadmill at the gym & going out for walks with my son. I’m actually wanting to do chunks of running (only 1-2 minutes at this time but hey it’s a start). I’m also running, by choice, when playing Wii games & enjoying it.

    And properly fit shoes from a running store seem to be helping with the injury prevention too. Got them for helping a friend train for the 3 Day a few years back and wearing them regularly has finally cleared up my plantar fascitis, even running a bit hasn’t brought it back.

    Thanks for the inspiration. How fun, running with your hubby.

  98. #127
    Pat Baker

    I totally relate to the “runner’s nose” — I don’t run, but I play tennis every week…always with a Kleenex stuffed in my pocket or wasteband. I never notice anyone else on the courts blowing their nose after every game like I do, so I’m glad to learn I’m not alone in the exercise-induced drippy nose department.

    Also, I concur with many of your followers’ comments — you must write another book some day. I for one will gladly purchase it! I bought your Clean & Simple book a few years back and still get tons of ideas from it.

  99. #128

    I’m working on the exercising too and diet plan. I want to stay motivated and love reading you blog. It helps…

    I would love to have ” believe you can do it” engraved

  100. #129

    Love this post, Cathy. I love that you and Dan can share this great sport, and perhaps you’ll inspire your kids to run with you too. 🙂

  101. #130

    Hey Cathy,
    Way to go!!! Running outside will keep getting easier and you will miss it when you don´t go. If you start thinking about it now and prepare yourself mentally you can run right through the winter and enjoy that also!!!

  102. #131
    Di Hickman

    Almost exactly a year ago I was running on the treadmill. I got up to 6 miles (my goal at the time) and thought “that’s it I’m done, time to set new goals” when I got injured. Or rather was run into at full speed by one of my dogs, bending my knee the wrong way damaging some cartilage and causing me issues with running. In January I started again, tentatively, this time though running outside. I started with a knee brace and running 1 minute, walking 2, repeat. I ran my first 5k on 1st May and last weekend I ran a 10k (6.2 miles). Thats the furthest I have EVER run! And without my knee brace!!! I am happy to say I ran that 10k at the park in under an hour, which was my goal time 🙂 HAPPY DAYS!!!

    I signed up for a 10k race in July, and plan to run a 1/2 marathon in October! Are you gonna get yourself signed up for some races girl?

  103. #132

    Great job Cathy! I’m a mom of 2 and very gradually started running about 4 years ago, when I was 36. I’m now 40 and have ran a marathon and two ultra-marathons (50k) within the past 6 months. A cool thing about being over 40 is that I sometimes even place in my age group! I’ve had a great time running, I’ve made a ton of friends, and I now actually weigh the weight that’s printed on my driver’s license! If I can do it, you can too! At this point, running 15 miles in a day is easier and less intimidating for me than making a scrapbook page!

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