A little bit about me and why I started running
Hi! My name is Isabel, and I’ve been running for 20+ years from track/cross-country to running for peace of mind and just to reboot. I met my wonderful husband in 2004. 2014 marks our 10th year married! We met on the internet back when Yahoo! Singles used to be popular. Nine months later, we married! 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. Now, I strive to motivator others and help them 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
Our sweet little man, Alejandro, was born in 2011 after a 36 hour labor couple with complications. The doctors pushed for a C-section, but I refused. I credit my running in giving me the stamina to keep on going.
My pregnancy was high-risk within the first trimester with high blood pressure placing me on bed rest 4 times throughout my pregnancy. At 35 weeks, preeclampsia prompted my doctors to induce labor. Birth itself was no easy task. Little man’s heartbeat kept dropping as the contractions grew stronger, and we lost it twice for just a second or two. Within an hour of his debut, he decided to make things interesting and switch directions, requiring manual turning. With the epidural gone, I got to learn just what other women meant by the “ring of fire.” Post-delivery brought along it’s own complications with the cord wrapped around his neck and mami hemorrhaging. Still, by God’s grace, we had a healthy baby boy, 6.2 pounds and 19 inches long.
Running and being a mami is hard work. Add to that a full-time job, and it’s overload. Some days are better than others, but I do what I can when I can. Alejandro was born with severe acid reflux, food allergies, and suffered from colic for the first 3.5 months of his life. It was challenging, and we have been blessed with family, friends, and even strangers that have reached out to us in our time of need. My husband’s mom, a true blessing, stayed with us for most of those first 3.5 month. Our neighbors, the Krans, provided us with support via help around our property, delicious meals, and were there to listen to me rant and blow off steam. At 9 months old, 9 months later, little man’s acid reflux was finally gone, and mami was up to 4-5 hours of sleep a night. We’re also happy to announce that, at 2 years old, his food allergies finally went away!
Being involved in the community is my passion. As a teacher, I’ve implemented two running clubs for the students at my schools. In 2013, I brought Girls on the Run Atlanta to my current school and serve as the site coordinator and lead coach. We have a wonderful group of girls, and it’s been a joy to watch them blossom into confident, young ladies.
I also head up a local running group, 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.
For the past couple of years, I’ve also served as a partner blogger with the Publix Georgia Marathon/Allstate 13.1 Atlanta series, and in 2012, the inaugural Monster Dash. It’s been a pleasure spreading running cheer as a Rambassador for the Hot Chocolate 5k/15k Atlanta series. Most recently, I directed my first fun run, the Women’s Health Run10Feed10 Atlanta fun run held at our nearby Kennesaw Mountain!