A little bit about me and why I started running
Hi! My name is Isabel, and I’ve been running for almost twenty years. In middle school and high school, I ran track and cross-country until an injury caused me to drop running for several years. I started running again in college (noncompetitive), but fell off the bandwagon shortly after graduation. Let’s face it. I enjoyed my last year of college just a little TOO much. Once I graduated, I couldn’t figure out how to balance work, work, and my personal life yet. Sound familiar?
I met my wonderful husband in 2004. We met on the internet back when Yahoo! Singles used to be popular….I sent him an ice cube…for those of you guys and gals who know what that is.) Three months later we announced our engagement and were married by the end of the year! As with most married couples, we became a bit too comfortable with each other. Before we knew it, we had each gained 38+ pounds, were battling high cholesterol and blood pressure. My doctor threatened that if I continued along this path, medicine would be imminent.
With plummeting confidence and self-esteem levels, hid behind loose shirts and avoided the camera at ALL costs. In 2009, we both made a commitment to start a healthy lifestyle. After a five-year hiatus, I decided to throw on my running shoes again and change my eating habits. As an elementary school teacher, emotional eating had become a daily part of my life, and I drank Dr. Peppers like a fish! Plus, no matter where you go in a school, you’re bound to find some kind of candy or other chocolate-covered goody, just head into the office or the teacher’s lounge or the teacher’s workroom.
I started running primarily to lose weight, and dropped 3 pant sizes, going from 143 to 116 (27 pounds!). Now, I strive to become a motivator for others who want to make positive changes in their lives. I run because I enjoy it, because it helps relieve daily stress, and because I can’t imagine my life without it! Running has always been there for me, even when I threw the shoes to the back of my closet…they were there…waiting for me to return to them.
Our new family addition
We have a little one of our own now and 2 little fur-balls, Kitty and Tawny. Alejandro was born in April 2011 after a 36 hour labor! I credit my running in helping me avoid a C-section.
My pregnancy started off fairly typical; however, I was quickly placed in the high-risk category with my blood pressure going out of control. Towards the end, I wound up with preclampsia. Birth itself was no easy task. His heartbeat kept dropping as the contractions grew stronger, and we lost it twice. Then, towards the end of our 36 hour journey, he decided to switch directions, requiring manual turning. My epidural had worn off by then. When he came out, the cord was wrapped around his neck, and they were having difficulty stopping the bleeding. At the end of it all, we had an overall healthy baby boy, 6.2 pounds and 19 inches long.
Had I not of kept up with my running throughout my pregnancy, I might have had to have a c-section, as they were pushing us in that direction towards the end of the first 24 hours. I refused and am glad I did! Despite several challenges throughout labor/delivery, Alejandro was born healthy and weighed in at 6 lbs, 2 oz and 19 inches long.
Alejandro has had a few of his own challenges, but nothing that he won’t outgrow. He was born with severe acid reflux, food allergies, and suffered from colic for the first 3.5 months of his life. It’s been challenging, and we have been blessed with family, friends, and even strangers that have reached out to us in our time of need. We’re very grateful for Einar’s mom, Ma, who was able to come stay with us for most of those first 3.5 months, LITERALLY! And grateful to her husband, Pilla, for letting her spend some much time away from him. We know how hard that must have been!
We’re grateful to our neighbors, the Krans, who provided us with support via help around our property, delicious meals, who were there to listen to me rant and blow off steam, and have continued helping us with tips and advice for our little one. At 9 months old, Alejandro has finally outgrown his acid-reflux issues, so I’m looking to return to work ASAP!
At my previous school, I started a fitness club, encouraging running and physical activity. After taking 1.5 years off after the birth of our son, I am back at work and looking to obtain grants to implement another running club for our 3-5 grade students.
I am also tOrganizer for a local running club, the Adventure Runners. We have runners of all ability levels, from beginners to advanced. We host group runs and outings that allow runners to get together as a group, socialize, and simply enjoy running for the sake of running. No competition, just good ole’ plain run happy running! Our advanced members provide tips on injury prevention, running form, etc. to our beginning members, enabling them to progress safely and allowing them to enjoy the sport more.
In the past year, I’ve offered my services to Georgia Marathon series and Allstate series, the inaugural Monster Dash, the inaugural Hot Chocolate 5k/15k Atlanta, and am currently working on co-directing a race that will debut towards the end of the year. Prior to those events, I assisted in obtaining sponsors for the Frogtown Trail Challenge held in October 2010. I certainly appreciate all the volunteers that man the aid stations and provide cheering sections at the races I run, and strongly believe that runners should give back to other runners. Our running group has recently started volunteer projects. Winter races often lack volunteers, and it´s always nice to see a smiling face cheering you on!