Thursday, May 2, 2013

Double Ambassadorship

I have wonderful-fun news! I've just found out that I've been selected as a See Jane Run Ambassador! What the heck is that, you ask? In a nutshell, from the SJR website, "An ambassador is someone who is all "Jane". A Jane can be someone who embraces fitness as a lifestyle and brings it into all aspects of their life. Ambassadors include bloggers, trainers, teachers, fitness club owners, health professionals and athletes (professional and other)."

So now I'm a Vegan Ambassador, and a See Jane Run Ambassador. Double ambassadorship makes me smile. If I could get a gig as a Swimming Pool Ambassador in some exotic, tropical paradise, I think I'd pretty much have it made. I do love drinks with those little umbrellas in them.

See Jane Run is all about running, but as you might already know, I haven't always been a runner. Mostly I've been non-exerciser, which I was never happy about, but couldn't quite figure out what to do about it. I'd go through spurts of wanting to get in shape, and come up with terrific plans for doing it. Most of the time, about three days in, I'd find some excuse to take a day off, which of course turned into more excuses and eventual abandonment of yet another get-fit-fast scheme. I think I can hear a lot of sighing... So many of us have been there, right?

Then something that seems kind of magical happened. A year ago February, my gorgeous, athletic, 26 year old daughter challenged me to join her in a Disneyland 1/2 Marathon. For some insane reason, I said yes, and registered for the race before I had a chance to change my mind. I bought some running shoes, and started training a couple of days later. I kept my expectations low. All I wanted to do was finish on my own two feet, and not get "swept" by the van that picks up the slowpokes. 

I would be 55 by race day - the same age my mother was when she died. I guess I had something to prove. I needed to know that it's not required to surrender to bad health and unhappy aging. I needed to do whatever I could to live to see 56. I know it sounds sort of irrational, but that's how I felt. I knew I needed to turn things around for myself while I still could, and setting a big goal, like a 1/2 marathon, was what finally made it possible for me to get myself moving, and to keep at it. It was not an option for me to let myself down, or my daughter, or Mom, or Mickey Mouse for that matter. 

I started really, really slow, and worked my way up to a respectable pace. I did a ton of research online, and learned how to "run right." Chi Running caught my attention, and it worked for me. I adjusted my already healthy vegan diet to give myself the most possible energy. I found the perfect running shoes. I started a running journal. I gathered up a few key bits of gear. And more and more I found that I looked forward to getting out there to run. 

Rather than beat myself up, I decided to let it be okay to run/walk. Living at this crazy 7,000 foot elevation makes it hard to get enough oxygen. Since my goal was to finish the race, I felt all I really needed to do was keep moving and put the miles in. By the time September came around, I was as ready as I was ever going to be. I was in much better shape than I'd been in February, and I'd lost about 20 pounds. Unexpectedly, my high altitude training really paid off, and I found that running at sea level was easier than I'd ever imagined it could be. Gulping oxygen and pumping adrenaline, I ran most of the first 7 miles before deciding I'd better calm down a little bit and pace myself. I finished the race about 20 minutes behind my daughter, and right about in the middle of the 17,000 or so runner pack. I was so happy I cried like a baby at the finish line.

I had no immediate plans to run another race of any kind after that, but I kept running anyway. I found it harder though, to stay motivated without an event to work towards. So when one of my longest-time (certainly not old) friends told me that she was inspired by what I'd accomplished, and wanted to run with me the next time, I was excited to sign on for my second 1/2 marathon. She lives in Oakland, so we decided on the See Jane Run 1/2 Marathon coming up on June 8th.

This was what I needed. Another goal, and another reason not to get lazy. My sister and at least one other friend are joining us. And now the whole thing feels like a party! I'm hoping to see a few more friends out there, so if you're interested in joining us, go sign up right now! Run or walk the 1/2 marathon, or do the 5K. I'll even be happy just to see your smiling face somewhere along the route, cheering us on. 

So now, as your very happy, over-50 SJR Ambassador, I encourage you to get off the couch, and go outside and move your bones. I'm on my way to do the same, and I know for sure that it's never too late to do more than we think we can.



Jean said...

This is something to be extremely proud of. And that is why I am extremely proud of YOU! xox jean

Kim Miles said...

Thanks Jean! xo

Joan Tucker said...

Kim, I follow your blog, have forever. I was so impressed with your vegan move and walking running also you became another shape still as lovely as your precious one. I am heavy, have had knee problems and a diabetic,.I am lowering blood glucose, restricted salt and starting to move (with a 5 k next summer with my daughter a goal.)
I am not a vegan but moving towards more veg. I want to say thanks for your being real and sharing the journey. If you help me it would actually help me live longer. A gift via the internets!! Thank you thank you. Joan Tucker

Kim Miles said...

Hi Joan, Nice to hear from you! It sounds like you're making some good changes. Yay YOU! Dr Joel Fuhrman has a new book out - The End to Diabetes - It might appeal to you! And in a few days I'm starting a new online program here that might help you make that 5K goal. It's still a secret... a few little things to work out. But i'll be launching it at the end of the week if all goes well. Stay tuned! (And eat your greens ;o)) xo Kim