Karen

Shamrock’n since 2012

Karen

While Shamrock’n 2012 was my third half marathon, it holds a very special place in my heart. I had volunteered with Stella from Take Your Time Massage to sign people up for the massages for Shamrock’n 2007. I got a T-shirt for volunteering. It was a 2XL, but it never fit me because I weighed nearly 350 pounds. I distinctly remember thinking that I could NEVER accomplish such an impressive feat as running 13.1 miles!!!

In 2009, I reached the peak of my obesity, weighing in at nearly 400 pounds. I had gotten on a flight and the seatbelt extender nearly wouldn’t fit. I knew at that point I couldn’t continue that way and I had to do something about it. I started by simply writing down everything I ate. By the beginning of 2010, I had started to modify my food intake and then began parking my car further out in the parking lot when I went places. By early 2011, I had lost over 100 pounds and had made walking a regular part of my life.

In May 2011, I was inspired to sign up for my first 5K race as I had a friend who had committed to doing one 5K race per month. I finished that first 5K in 48 minutes. After that, friends encouraged me to sign up for Urban Cow Half Marathon training. I said to myself, “I can’t do that!!!” Immediately after that, I pondered exactly why I couldn’t do it? I signed up and was immediately hooked! By that point, I had lost 160 pounds and I had quit smoking after 22 years.

I returned to Shamrock’n 2012 not as a volunteer, but as a runner. During the course of the race, I pondered how much my life had changed and how it had changed infinitely for the better. Running has given me something that I can’t quite quantify. It has shown me that I can do things I never thought were possible. It has shown me that I can handle adversity. It has given me confidence to try things I have been afraid of trying because I was afraid of failure. Most importantly, I have met the most incredible people through Fleet Feet. I have met people through training that I can’t imagine not being in my life forever. My family has even adopted my two running buddies into our clan as honorary sisters.

Fleet Feet Sacramento training groups will always be part of my life… I will continue to train for races, and I am also now a Coach in Training. I am so excited to be part of such a wonderful organization. I can’t wait to help show other people that they can do things they never thought were possible, too!

I hope to see you at the 2016 Shamrock’n!

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