Friday, May 24, 2019

Oh, The Places Running Has Taken Me

The feeling of crossing the finish line. I still feel this way.

I ran a marathon. I. Ran. A. Freaking. Marathon. Twenty-six point two miles. Even though half a year has passed, I’m still sort of in disbelief. If you had told me two years ago that I’d be able to call myself a marathoner, I wouldn’t have believed you. If you had told me fifteen years ago, I would’ve tried to have you committed. Sixteen years ago, 2003, I was in Basic Training. I was in really good shape, but I hated running. After I had been in the Army Reserves for a few years, after I had spent a year in Iraq, all of the running endurance I had gained in training had disappeared. The Reserves encourages soldiers to stay physically fit, but it can be difficult for someone who isn’t necessarily motivated to do so. I was a college student at the same time that I was in the Reserves. I was trying to graduate, and as a senior graphic design student I had gallery shows to prepare for. I also had choir concerts to perform in for my music minor. My marriage was falling apart, and I found out I was pregnant. My senior year in college was stressful to the max, but that’s a story for another time. The point is that during my senior year, fitness was anything but a priority. 

Now look at me. I’m still not in “basic training” shape, but I can run farther than I ever imagined. Just this month, I ran the TC One Mile. I took 21.1 seconds off of my time from 2017—I ALMOST broke an eight minute mile. My mind is still having a really hard time comprehending that. 

In November 2018, a little more than a month after the Twin Cities Marathon, I ran a Turkey Trot. It was a 10k. I was 45 seconds shy of running it in an hour. I blame the fact that I stopped less than a quarter mile in so I could tighten my shoelace. Were it not for that I'm sure that I would've broken a one hour time. 


The other thing that happened after TCM is that I started a run streak. My husband had been streaking for months, and I was looking for my next challenge. On October 22, 2018, I started running at least a mile a day. As of this writing, I am 214 days and 449 miles in. I am also "running the year" with my husband. We've teamed up to each run half of 2,019 miles. Our team is currently over 700 miles for the year. 

Running has given me so much since I found a passion for it. It has proven to me that I am so much stronger than I ever thought. It’s shown me that I’m capable of doing amazing things.  It’s also given me opportunities I wouldn’t have imagined. 

At the beginning of 2019, I learned that I was selected to be a Nuun Ambassador. Because of this, I’ve not only had a chance to try new products at a generous discount, but I also get to meet up with other ambassadors in the area for special events. I’ve met some incredible people. And, I’m so grateful to have been given the chance to represent Nuun alongside other Twin Cities Nuun ambassadors. Go to nuunlife.com/shop and use code hydratewithus25 for 25% off your purchase through May 29, 2019.

Another big change for me started around the beginning of April. It was prompted by my friend, who is a Zyia Active Independent Representative. She was in the process of trying to grow her team, and she reached out to me, as one of her Zyia Ambassadors, to ask me if I wanted to become a rep myself. My initial reaction was, “No way!” I’ve done direct sales, and I’ve failed miserably. As a stay-at-home mom, I just don’t have the reach I need to be successful at direct sales. I started talking to my husband about my friend asking me if I wanted to sell Zyia. I told him I knew the question was coming from her, but at that point, it just made me roll my eyes. As The Husband and I were talking, I mentioned that my friend has likely been successful at selling Zyia in part because she is also a group fitness instructor. Suddenly it hit me: Why couldn’t *I* become a group fitness instructor?  The conversation shifted. I decided to start asking my friend how she became an instructor. I told her I felt that being an instructor would be step one. 

I contacted my local YMCA and got a trial membership. I attended a few classes and asked the group fitness manager about the requirements for becoming an instructor. I learned everything I needed to know, and I started working on the steps I needed to take. 

I’m still working on my online classes. In fact, I really haven’t even started. The last month of school has been a busy time for my family, and I’ve had a lot of places to be. However, I did decide to become a Zyia rep myself because I got tired of referring people to my friend when they could be buying from me. My husband invested in my Zyia starter kit, which included a few new active wear items of my choice. Now I can share this clothing line that I love and also hopefully earn an income doing so. 

I just had my launch party, and the shopping link is still open. I still need a few orders to reach my goal for the party, and once that goal is reached, I will be drawing a name for one of my customers to get a free item! You can check out my page at

myzyia.com/runningonempty.

I'm not sure what my future has in store, but my goal is to become certified as a group fitness instructor and eventually, hopefully sooner rather than later, become a certified POUND instructor so that I can start teaching POUND classes at the YMCA. I never thought that this would be something I'd do with my life, and it all started with running.

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