Tuesday, July 30, 2013


People have always commented on how honest my blog is. I've admitted to embarrassing things on this page. I've shared some real emotions and admitted to numbers and stories that I'm not proud of. So, why stop now?

I hit my first true emotional and physical rut over the course of this past month. I've gained back nearly 10 pounds of the weight I've lost. 


Wow. I never thought I'd have to use that word referencing my weight, ever again. The thought of it really saddens me. I've hid the whole struggle (as best I can), from my family and friends. This process has become such an important part of my life, that I'm actually losing sleep over it. I can't sleep, but I can certainly eat and I've watched myself do things I promised I'd never do again. I've let other people and sadness dictate what I do with my body. I let the instant gratification of delicious food and laziness win this past month. I'm sick of it, plain and simple.

How do I stop it? As humans we are so incredibly stubborn. Sometimes we can't even convince ourselves to do the things we desperately need to do.  We self-sabatage. It's unfortunate, but sometimes it takes tragedy to remind us how valuable our own life is. 

Last week, Chad Rogers went for a run and never came home to his wife and baby. I was hundreds of miles away at the time, but I felt deeply connected to the story. Maybe it was the fact that he was from my town, or perhaps because he was close to people I know. But I think the truth is, I felt connected to him because he was a runner. I almost came home a day early to help search for him.

I couldn't help thinking about the whole situation, how connected we all are no matter how different the lives are that we lead. His scent was last picked up close to my apartment building, in a place that I, myself have run. Our feet have hit the same pavement, we've passed the same old fuel shop, and probably waved to the same old lady that gardens in the early-morning heat. 

We probably thought about different things on our runs. We probably ran for different reasons. He was a marathon runner and he could probably run my route in half the time it takes me. He was the type of runner that if I passed him, I'd probably change my route to avoid the embarrassment of him seeing me run like a turtle. I don't know much about him, but I know we were different. But I also know that for one reason or another, we would both run.

Did I ever pass him? I've seen so many people on my runs, I could never remember all the faces. I was supposed to run the night he disappeared, but I ultimately decided against it. My mind raced around this thought after he first went missing.

I didn't come home early from my trip, but my roommate and I had already planned to head out and search when I got home. I received word on my drive home that Chad's body had been found.  It was found in a portable restroom at the school by my old apartment, where I spent the first year of my journey training. I ran my first real mile on that track, lost my first 100 pounds. I experienced a lot of sadness over that news, a lot of sadness for a man I never met. I immediately thought of his family, and I watched as they thanked the community in a news conference that afternoon.

It was a tragic end to a story that deeply impacted so many people in my town. And although the town mourned and thought of the family, I imagine they were also thinking the same thing I thought...That could have been me. That could have been anyone. It could have been a friend or a family member, someone I loved. 

When the news first broke of his disappearance, he was referred to as a Liberty runner. I realized that only a day later, that I was referencing him just as "Chad". Chad was a Liberty resident who happened to value one of the same things I do. Running meant something to him. I'll probably never know exactly what, but I know enough to know that it was important to him. 

So what does this all mean? Why has Chad's story become a part of mine? 

We're all human. We're all stubborn in our own ways. We're all valuable. We forget to take care of ourselves. You forget when you're busy living, how painfully short life is.  We stay in dead-end jobs, waste time on hopeless relationships, say things we shouldn't say, and forget to say the things we should. We pass up opportunities for greatness to avoid discomfort. We stop fighting our demons out of laziness. In my case, I just made excuses for overeating and stopped running when it got difficult.

I can't win every battle, but I'm worth fighting for. If I may leave this life that early, I can't keep wasting time. Chad's life was cut far too short, but it was valuable. It was valuable to his family and the people who loved him. It was valuable to me. My prayers are with his family and friends as they struggle to find peace. 

I've got another day to live still, and I'm blessed to have another day to run. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Let's be honest

I had two weeks where I barely worked out and ate my fair-share of "bad" food. I even gained some weight back. I can't tell you how hard that is on me when I work so hard to not only lose weight, but maintain my weight loss. I'm human though and I think the biggest demon I'll ever face is my love of food. 

I caught myself thinking about food a lot, planning what my next splurge would be, dreaming about it really. Chicken fingers? Cheeseburger? Dairy Queen Blizzard? The thing is, if I could just have one of those and be happy, then their wouldn't be a problem. There is absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying those foods from time to time. But I had one and then I NEEDED the others. Is one thing after the next.  I regressed into "Old Katie" mode and where I wasn't being satisfied in other parts of my life, I turned to food to comfort me.

That's just not me anymore and instead of lingering in this general state, I'm running away from it. Literally.

I officially started my marathon training on Monday. I just can't eat poorly like that and still have the energy, stamina, and general well feelings to run distances of any kind. And by distance, I mean a mile. *wink*. I created my own marathon training plan after consulting several different kinds. My friend and I are both following my self-made plan, and I'm hoping we'll see good results from it. And by results, I mean live to tell about it.

I really like the idea of incorporating trail-running and hills and speed work into the training plan. Lately, I've been all about working different muscle groups and focusing on strengthening the parts of my legs that need it most in order to avoid further knee injury.  I also like the idea of doing my long runs on a week day. I'd rather be completely wiped out on a week day then over the weekend. I'm also not committing to a specific number of miles on every long run. I'm well aware that every run is different from the last, and a day that I set out to run four, I might very well be able to do five and vice versa.

I'm excited. I'm nervous, but excited. 

I've also been doing Title Boxing for about a week now. That is by far the most difficult workout I've done to date and I'm loving the challenge. I won't be able to afford a membership, but I'm going to enjoy my last week I have with my Groupon!
After a 6 A.M. boxing class!
Made the mistake of doing a power hour boxing and then running three miles. I do NOT recommend that. I won't be doing it again.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Run With It

I turned 26 this week.
It snuck up on me. I guess I was too busy living to realize that the new number attached to my name officially puts me closer to 30 than 20. But unlike when 25 was looming, I'm not afraid. I'm excited. A year ago I posted a blog titled, "Best Year Ever." I talked about losing 100 pounds, producing a documentary, and starting the journey to find myself.

There are no words I could write here that would do this past year justice. Over this past year I made some mistakes, grew distant with some friends, felt like I was losing my mind at times, and cried over lost loves and days where I felt like I'd just never get what I want. I'm still poor. I'm still a bit lonely. But I'd be lying if I said this wasn't the "Best Year Ever"...because it was. If 24 ain't got nothing on 25, I can only imagine what that means for the coming year.

It's amazing how people can impact your life if you let them in. It's even more amazing how different your human experience can be if you shift your attitude. Here are 26 things I did or learned this year, in no particular order.

1. Completed post production on "Dream Season" and premiered it with my best friend.

2. Learned how to make delicious stir-fry.

3. Made amazing new friends and reconnected with old ones.

4. Went mountain biking! (And busted my face)

5. Brought my weight loss total to over 180 pounds. 

6. Smoked a cigar.

7. Ran a mile in 9 minutes.

8. Learned that people DO treat you differently based on how you look, but more importantly...YOU treat yourself differently.

9. Squatted 185 pounds.

10. Tried ethiopian food.

11. Ran a 10K with my best friend in the best small-town in Missouri.

12. Snuggled my nephew and welcomed a new niece into the family.

13. Watched my not-so-baby niece graduate from high-school.

14. Went fishing with my brother.

15. Cried hysterically while watching Garth Brooks perform "The Dance" live.

16. Took a nap in a hammock after floating on the lake with my sister, sipping on frozen drinks.

17. Jumped off the back of a boat.

18. Ran a race and got a medal.

19. Bought size 12 pants.

20. Learned that most people are doing the best they can.

21. Took a boxing class...and rocked it!

22. Learned the Merengue.

23. Watched one of my dearest friends get proposed to.

24. Discovered that I love wine.

25. Had the best day ever.

26. Moved in with one of the best friends a gal could have.

I have had a ton of people reach out to me this year, some friends and some strangers. On my "Best Year Ever" post from last year, my sister Rikki commented, "I'm thrilled you are starting to embrace your strength and run with it." I read that today and was somewhat amused. I literally chose to run this year in an attempt to better myself. I've run in all sorts of neighborhoods, on tracks, on trails, through water and mud, uphill, downhill, in all different parts of Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma. My running career is pretty much a parallel to my life at this point. I've faced some hard runs. I've been injured and healed repeatedly. I've gotten lost and been found. I've fallen down and got back up. I know that as I continue running, I'll face more and more of these obstacles. I know the same can be said about life. 

But I also know that with the people I love by my side, the will and the courage, it is very possible that 26 could be the best year ever. I've had a lot of fun, but I'm not finished.