Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Then vs. Now Half Marathon Style

Kind of inspired by Shay's race recap here, which really made me think about how far I have come in other areas of my life and how much my race times don't matter in the grand scheme of things. 

I haven't run a half marathon since March 2015. I didn't really have high hopes for this one, I just knew I wouldn't die and I was fine with that. I have not given up on my sub 2 hour half marathon goal, it is just not the most important thing to me right now. 

2012: Best half marathon so far. Kentucky Derby Mini Marathon. Time: 2:04:48.


2012: First off, biggest thing - I was blonde! I was also about 20lbs lighter. I lived with my friend, KC and I had just gotten back together (kind of) less than a month before. I didn't like myself very much. I was always calling myself fat, or berating myself for being such a slow runner. I would get down on myself and rely on others to pull me out of my funks. I used a $10 watch from target that was basically a stopwatch. I worked at my friend's dad's restaurant and I enjoyed it, but only because I thought it was just for a year. I got into a few squabbles with the manager because our personalities clashed and I was such a delicate duckling. I didn't know if KC would be at the finish line, or if we would even last the year. I didn't have any cats (in the same country)!


2016: Not best, but probably mentally the best. Kentucky Derby Mini Marathon. Time: 2:32:12


2016: Obviously, not blonde anymore. I recently shed 5lbs but I am still heavier than younger me, but I am so much lighter mentally and emotionally. I'm not as focused on my weight but more on my health. That friend is now one of my top 5 people in the entire world, and we still run together even though we don't live together. This time, I didn't expect KC to be at the finish line (he dropped me off, went to the gym and was going to meet me at the runners reunite spot) but he snuck back in to see me cross the finish line.... and he didn't see me. Ha. But relationship wise, KC & I are married with 3 babies cats. I also don't stick my tongue out as much as I apparently liked to in 2012.


I am bigger than when I thought I was fat, slower than when I thought I was slow. But I am so much happier. I don't hate myself - I know I say this a lot, but for someone who actively disliked herself from age 12 or so to 25 or so, this is a huge, huge thing. Part of me can't even comprehend how much I used to hate myself, the other part is so proud of how far I've come.

I am not perfect and I don't get along with everyone, but I don't fight with people for the sake of fighting with them. My down phases are so few and far between that I don't actually remember the last one, but I do remember that it was me who got myself out of it. I love the people in my life, so very very much, but I exist for myself now, whereas I didn't think I was worthy of existing before. That sounds way more dramatic than I meant it to.

Apparently I was just kidding about the sticking out of the tongue. Why do I do that?


I might not have beat my personal best half marathon wise, I didn't set any running records. But would I go back to 2012 and be that person? Hard no, friends. Hard no. Realising that and loving who I am and where I am, that right there is a personal best.

Linking up with Alyssa and Tracy

alyssagoesbang

But just for fun,

2011: 2:37:15
2012: 2:04:48
2014: 2:39:15
2014: 2:33:21
2015: 2:50:36
2016: 2:32:12

I beat every race except 2012, which is totally fine by me. Then I ate lots of food, which is also fine by me.

60 comments:

  1. It's amazing to see how far you've come in what's such a short time. Relatively. I'm so glad you're happier now! Makes me sad to think you could have been so down in the dumps because you seem like succcch a happy person.

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  2. I love this!! Your mental fitness is as important, if not more than your physical fitness I think. You rocked this race and go KC for sneaking to the finish line!

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  3. Such a good thing to look back on! Heavy mentally really can way us down! Glad to see that you're positive about that... And sticking out your tongue!

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  4. Wow..it's amazing what a huge transformation you've made! I'm so proud of you :)

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  5. this was a really neat post idea. amazing how much we change in just a few years right?! you are beautiful in BOTH sets of photos girly :) inside and out!

    xoxo cheshire kat

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  6. I really enjoyed this read! How amazing to be able to document such drastic points in your life with the centralized point of running. I am SO GLAD to hear that you are in such a better place now, physically and emotionally!

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  7. LOL at the tongue-sticking-out behavior! It must be one of your (cat-like?) reflexes and you just can't control it. So glad to read that your journey through life and running has brought you to a better, happier place with yourself!

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  8. Is it weird I can't imagine you without your cats?! I love this post-- it's so easy to focus on the accomplishments that are marked with a time or medal, but you're so right that the other changes and ways we grow in life are usually the most important of all. I'm soo proud of the transformation you've made in just a couple of years! And congrats on your second best time ever!!

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  9. I love the comparison race recap. Is it hard to believe that you've not only run so many half marathons but that you've been running them for 6 years? Yay for beating all of your times but the 2012 one & to be honest, nobody likes 2012 anyway so it's completely ok to forget about that one :)

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  10. You've grown so much in not only running wise, but more importantly mentally!! It's okay to stick your tongue out in photos - it's fun! lol xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  11. What a great way to look back & see how far you've come!

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  12. Very proud of you friend! Especially in the whole loving yourself department. I think that is far more important than the number you weigh. I've never really worried about my weight (until recently) and I'd really like to kick my butt into gear. I keep telling myself when I'm in my new apartment I'll start. But I feel like I need to take a page from your book and stop telling myself that and actually start doing it. YOU GO GIRL! :)

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  13. So proud of you Kristen!! You are strong, beautiful, hilarious and so incredibly brave- I loved reading this post because it made me motivated too! I'll get my ass out of bed Sunday and run with you and Jen, I swear!!!!

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  14. Such a great post!!! You're such a beautiful person inside and out, and I'm glad you realize it! You're the coolest!! :)

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  15. I did a similar thing...raced my personal worst half marathon time, but ended up happy anyways. Because I didn't let it drag me down & that was more important than a PR anyways.

    I think there is a huge something to be said for being emotionally lighter. And focusing on being healthier. There are always more races for that sub-2:00 when you're ready. :)

    Also, I stick my tongue out because it's about the only race face I can make that doesn't make me look like a constipated hippo. My smiles look like grimaces, even if I'm genuinely having fun. So I roll with the tongue out.

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  16. This post just makes my heart happy. I'm so glad that you've come so far, both physically and mentally. You should be so proud of yourself - I am, and we have yet to even meet in person, lol. I admire you a ton, and everybody should take a page out of your book and love themselves more!

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  17. I absolutely love this. I think that even in your photos you appear to be more confident and happy and mature now- which is all you can ask for! I'm glad things have gotten better for you, especially as far as self-image goes. I think you're AWESOME for running half marathons, no matter the time it takes.

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  18. This was so cool to read and see how you've grown over the past 4 years. I think being happy is the most important thing. You should be so so proud! You go girl:)

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  19. I love this post so much! It's so much better to be healthier mentally AND physically than to just be skinny or whatever. When you're healthy mentally I think it all flows together!

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  20. So glad that you are feeling so much happier and healthier these days. I agree that I'm in such a better place mentally & emotionally than for most of my 20s. I wouldn't mind being as thin & fast as I was then but I definitely wouldn't go back!

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  21. Heheh I love this. Cracking me up with your lack of tongue sticking out in 2016. Very mature. hehehe I'm glad you feel emotionally lighter than you did previously. I seriously think that overall that's way more important and leads you to have more success physically as well. :) XO -Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

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  22. LOVE this post! I don't think I'll ever be a runner but I can totally relate to your feelings and attitude in the early twenties. I think I'm just now coming out of that struggle but it's comforting to hear what others go through.

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  23. You did great! And I love the comparison and how you can see that you're happier and better off, despite not "beating" the previous you at superficial things. I am also proud of you for making those changes. And I think you look fantastic as a brunette. :D

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  24. I love this - I wish girls could jump forward several years to talk to their older-selves to find out just how petty a lot of stuff really is. It makes me realize how hard it might get for my daughter and her friends (middle school is rough) -- I've blocked out a lot of the difficult things from those years.

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  25. I wish all girls could skip right to where you are now! So proud of you for 1) running a freaking half marathon and 2) being happy in your own skin.

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  26. It's so awesome to see how far you've come since your best marathon time a few years ago! It's crazy to think about the people that we were a few years ago, but it makes it totally worth it to see how much we've grown! Congrats on another great half marathon finish!

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  27. What a great post! It's amazing the changes you have gone though - being in a better place mentally is such a game changer.

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  28. You are awesome!! Great race! What a great comparison too. I agree with Jenn - I love your brown hair!! PS I think it's cute that KC went to watch you finish and then missed that. Aww haha.

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  29. I really love this post! I love that you can look back and be proud of who you are now and your journey!

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  30. Honestly, you did an awesome job to run all those half marathons, it's something most people can't do - including me! So congrats on that for a start! But most of all I'm loving the attitude change. I've had a similar one recently and it's so refreshing to not hate yourself or always be punishing yourself for something. Who knows what other great epiphanies await us as we grow older? Maybe I'll actually take up running...!

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  31. I so love your words of "I dont hate myself" despite things that could get in your mind & mess with that thought. I saw a few pictures of me this weekend that had me doing the whole 'self hate' thing & its so useless. But its a real thing that has to be battled. For sure.
    I see your joy on your face in your pictures today. Keep loving your awesome self girl!

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  32. It's crazy how much our view of ourselves can change in just a few years. I am sooo much more confident than I used to be, and I feel like that's just growing even more every year. I think back to when I was at my most insecure and I can't believe it!

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  33. You go girl! Being in a good place mentally is such an achievement :)

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  34. It is crazy when we look back over certain times of our lives and wonder what we were doing or thinking then compared to now and how much things can change. And how things really did work out we just had to have some faith in ourselves. Loved reading this and glad to hear that you are happier with who you are now...because you my friend are pretty damn amazing!

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  35. The person you are now is one of my favorite people in the world! Proud of you and who you are, and proud to call you a friend!

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  36. I love this so much, Kristen! There is nothing better than getting to that point where you finally feel good about yourself!

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  37. It's always great to look back and realize how far you've come and remember to focus on the right things such as your health, happiness, and your loves (KC and the cats) :-)

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  38. get it girl!! Isn't it amazing when you can look back and know for a fact that you are happier and healthier now than you were before? so awesome to hear how far you've come! :)

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  39. I seriously LOVED this comparison - you are amazing. 2012 you, and 2016 you!!!! :)

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  40. Yes! I love this. It's so much more important to love yourself and were you are rather than wish you were faster, fitter, etc. This is a good reminder for all of us! Love it.

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  41. This made me cry. Well, okay, I'll be honest. I just read a fb post from a friend who is estranged from his parents because he is gay and a married gay man living in NZ. He is in American right now (oh yeah, he's American), but his parents won't see him because he is traveling with his husband. So, I was already emotional unstable after reading that. Then, I open this post. Tears.
    I am proud of how far you've come too. I know it is cliché, but you ARE older & wiser and learning from experiences and sharing them, and I love you for all of it!

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  42. It sounds like you're in a totally better place right now! Way to go on finishing yet another half marathon! That is a HUGE achievement!

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  43. i love this; esp the part where you said that you exist for you. that's the way it should be - always. love yourself first, take care of you and fuck the haters. i don't like using that word "haters" but it's early, i haven't had coffee yet and i'm too exhausted from work to think of other words. but for real, LOVE THIS.

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  44. Such a great post!!!! You are AWESOME!! Keep it up, seriously so inspiring.

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  45. This is awesome, you are really an inspiration!! Why do women hate themselves??? I'm guilty of it too.. because I see you and think you are gorgeous and funny and cool!!!

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  46. You totally rock girl!! I totally understand what it is like to hate on yourself. No one is harder on me than me. Getting mentally strong is such a game changer! So happy to see that you are doing good cause girl you are awesome!! I love this post!

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  47. I love this post. There's such a strong correlation between exercise and how we personally feel about ourselves. And omg, the break-up diet is SADLY so motivating vs. the I'M HAPPY one, so it's easy to be so much lighter during those times. It's so weird. I'm glad you have found a way to wash away the dark feelings you had about yourself in the past. I'm sure those were a huge burden. And I think we all need to stop looking back so far in terms of how much we used to weigh. I've been super skinny through many phases of my life but I'm also in my 30s now, not 21. So I should look to be a portrait of health for this decade not cling to the youthful factors that kept me small in my 20s. good on you for running so many half marathons! I think that's a great feat.

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  48. Absolutely love both the I am bigger and I am not perfect paragraphs.

    Self awareness is so awesome. When you have it, you're sort of incredulous that you didn't always have it.

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  49. YAY!!! I'm so happy that you're a happier person. Letting go of self blame and hate and freeing up that mental space is so essential to living a good life. I'm as fat as I've been since I was pregnant but you know what? Who cares! I'll lose it eventually - or not. I'm not giving up wine to have my prebaby body, that's for sure!

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  50. "I am bigger than when I thought I was fat, slower than when I thought I was slow. But I am so much happier."

    I love love love this! We've talked about this before, but our attitude affects so much of our lives! I'm so glad you are in such a good place now, friend! And congrats on running another half! I've never run more than a 5k so I'm always impressed with runners!

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  51. This is awesome. I love this post. You're fitness snaps are so motivating! Every time I see your story I think, "Oh, I should go to the gym!" Keep up the great work!

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  52. Love this! Being happy with who you are is really the only important thing there is. We women tend to be our own harshest critics, and self-love can be hard to come by. Whatever our sizes, however fast we are--it doesn't matter in the end as long as we are happy! Kudos to you for getting to a happy place!

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  53. What a great post. I love the reflection of old you compared to current you. Isn't it cool to see how far we can come (and grow) in just a few short years? It's so refreshing to see someone who is just happy with themselves and their life even if they aren't the "fastest/skinniest/blondest/etc" person out there. Great job on your race! I'm super impressed you've run a minimum of one half marathon every single year (well, almost!)! ;)

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  54. I feel like I really needed to read a post like this right now. I think I've gotten much better over the years in terms of being nice to myself, but I definitely still have my moments. Lately I've been more depressed and anxious than normal (it always comes and goes in waves, and right now those waves keep smacking me down and pulling me under), and, of course, this has messed with my already somewhat fragile self-esteem. I was literally sobbing uncontrollably to Eric last weekend because I was convinced I was "too fat and ugly to go anywhere." Those were my exact words, and I 100% felt that way in that moment. I wasn't feeling great anyway (I've been kind of feeling crappy off and on for a couple of weeks), but I mostly skipped out on a party because I couldn't bring myself to go out when I felt so shitty about myself.

    All of that to say that when I read this, I was like, "Okay, I really need to start thinking in these terms." I need to get back to doing things because I enjoy the way it makes me feel. I need to feel secure enough with who I am so that I don't have to worry about someone being prettier/skinnier/smarter/more successful/funnier/whatever. Someone will always be "more," and I know that. I'm mostly okay with that, but when I'm dealing with worse than normal depression and anxiety, I'm not.

    I know this won't be an overnight change. Obviously it's taken you some time to get to this place. Obviously I'm struggling against some things that won't just shut off because I want them to. But just know that this post was inspiring and helpful for me in this moment. Thank you for sharing it! :-)

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  55. I love seeing your progression and how you've gotten to this place of positivity and acceptance. I admire that and wish I had more of it personally!

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  56. I loved reading how you are bigger than when you thought your were fat and slower than when you thought you were slow. It's alllll perception, isn't it? Good for you for working on yourself (mentally). We beat ourselves up so much, it's important to give ourselves grace.

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  57. I loved reading how you are bigger than when you thought your were fat and slower than when you thought you were slow. It's alllll perception, isn't it? Good for you for working on yourself (mentally). We beat ourselves up so much, it's important to give ourselves grace.

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  58. You're killing it! I think the biggest thing is being able to cross the finish line - and you did it in great time!

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  59. Oh I love this post! You are aging beautifully! And I think it's probably for the best that you are keeping your tongue in more often. ;-) I have no doubt you will eventually get a sub 2 hour time!

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  60. Love this post and your candor! You have come a long way and well done for learning to love yourself!! Keep at it!! :)

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