When I was younger, I didn’t enjoy running. I would try it every once in a while, but never stuck with it. I made sure I could run the required 1.5 miles once a year when I was in the Air Force and that was about it. But, I always felt like I was dying when I got done.

I have since retired from the Air Force. My husband passed away in 2006. I finally let my doctor talk me into antidepressants a couple of years later. But, I didn’t want to have to be on them long term, so tried running as a way to improve my overall well being. It worked, and I was able to get off of the meds in just 6 months. I got up to running 6 miles. But, for some reason, once I got to that point, I just quit. I didn’t have a plan and I guess I figured that was my limit.

I still would get out to run every once in a while, but nothing consistent. Instead, I played a lot of tennis, so was still pretty active. Then, I tore my soleus and gastrocnemius muscles when making a quick turn to reach a ball. I was in a boot for several months. After lots of physical therapy, I was cleared to play tennis again, but was inconsistent with it. Subsequently, I gained a LOT of weight.

When I reached 187 pounds in April of 2015, I decided that I really needed to take control of my weight. I’ve had to work at it all of my life, so I knew from experience that running and counting calories was my method for doing so.

I was pretty inconsistent with running and logging my calories, but managed to at least maintain my weight for the rest of that year, ringing in 2016 at 183 pounds. I lost 13 pounds that year and maintained around 170 for all of 2017.

That’s when I got serious and more consistent with running. I was tired of being overweight. I lost slowly, but consistently, and reached my goal weight of 135, fifty pounds down from my highest, in August of this year, 2020.

Here is a picture of my in one of my new running skorts.

I was training for the Air Force Half Marathon, and reached the point to where I ran 11 miles. It got cancelled due to CoVID, so I scaled back a little bit on the plan, repeating some of the earlier weeks, hoping it would get easier.

Then, I got some news I wasn’t expecting. The aortic root aneurysm I have that the doctor’s have been watching for 3 years has grown and it is going to require a surgical repair. That means open heart surgery.

The reason for this blog is to document my journey through the surgery, recovery, returning to running, and hopefully running a marathon when I’m 80…I’m 61 now.

The best advice I have seen about running your first marathon, or any other distance or challenge, is to just keep putting one foot in front of the other. That’s what I intend to do. I hope you will follow along with me.