100 Mile Challenge, Accepted

One of my long-term fitness goals is to have a single month where I workout (run/walk/bike) 100 miles. This may be a small feat for some people I know who do that much in a week, but for me it’s a BFD.

Take a look at my previous 12 months of workouts on dailymile:

As you can see, I haven’t come close to 100 miles in the past year (the closest I have ever got was June of 2010, with 96 miles).

I know that if I got on my bike more I could probably hit the mileage, I just don’t bike as much as I did when I lived on the east side.

So this month, as I always do mid-month, I went to check my mileage. I saw 48, which is pretty good for me, based on the past 12 months.

I tweeted:

I figured it would be pretty difficult for me to accomplish 52 miles in 11 days. That’s like, 5 miles a day. And it’s like a billionty degrees out right now.

Then, I received the following from @tiffanyannweber:

See our following exchange:
Not one to turn down a challenge, I accepted Tiffany’s challenge to do 100 miles this month, not only to accomplish one of my personal goals, but to raise money for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America.

Want to play along? Post a comment below and pledge to kick Crohn’s and Colitis in the ostomy bag. Pledge 1 penny, dime, quarter or dollar per mile – and you only have to fulfill your pledge if I break 100 miles this month.

Follow the journey at Dailymile!

C’mon, what are you waiting for?

Read It: Published on the dailymile blog!

While you’re waiting for my race recap from this weekend (I started writing it yesterday, hope to finish it soon!), you should check out this blog post I wrote for dailymile. I’ve been a member of dailymile since January 2010, and as you might recall, I blogged that dailymile as one of the social media platforms that saved my life.

The blog post, Running alone while in a group, describes my struggles with being slow, running solo and how dailymile makes me feel like I’m not running alone anymore.

I’m just excited I was able to also include photos of all my running besties and FitMKE peeps in the article!

What are you waiting for? Head over to the dailymile blog and read my post – now!

 

Giveaway: Dailymile Stickers!

When I finally ordered my Dailymile t-shirt, I harassed Kelly (aka @dailymile) about my missing stickers? I wanted to pimp out my life with DM. I owe my life to social media sites like Dailymile, so I’m always wanting to pimp them when I can.

Well, today I got a li’l white envelope packed with some Dailymile goodness! And I want to spread the love, so I’m going to share some of my Dailymile stickers with my blog readers (I haven’t decided how many… but there will be at least 4 up for grabs).

What do you have to do to enter this li’l giveaway?

Post a comment on this blog post telling me where you’ll put your DM swag. Bonus points if you post a picture of what will get the DM branding.

I’ll pick winners next week.

I’m Amy and I’m a runner (Hi Amy)

Me: Hello everyone. My name is Amy and I’m a runner.

You: Hi Amy!

Me: It’s been 12 hours since my last run.

You: Wow. That’s awesome.

Me: I don’t know if I can resist the temptation to run anymore.

You: Don’t fight it. Celebrate it.

Me: You got it. Hey world, I’m a freaking runner! Did you hear that? AMY MARIE KANT IS A RUNNER.

You should know that I made it Dailymile official (see Facebook official). I am no longer a “Walker.” I’m a “Runner” and it’s not going back. Ever. Even if I do walk during my training, I know I’m a runner now. No one can take that away from me, unless they cut my legs off.

Someday, that will be me

I went with some of my DailyMile/FitMilwaukee/Twitter friends down to Kenosha early Saturday morning to cheer on the bazillion people I knew who were running either the half or full marathon.

I can’t adequately put into words what Saturday was for me. I saw friends complete their longest runs ever. I saw my friends triumph. I saw children looking at their parents with such awe, you’d swear they thought mommy or daddy was a superhero. I cried watching people I didn’t even know cross the finish line. I cried when my friends turned the corner for the last 30 yards to the finish. I cheered for people who struggled to finish the race. I cheered for people successfully completing their races. But most importantly, I saw what hard work and determination can produce. I could see on all my friends’ faces the pure euphoria they enjoyed when they finished the race. I’m no where near the end of my own personal race. But, step by step, race by race, pound by pound, inch by inch, I’ll get there. I’ll cross that finish line. And I’ll be thinking of how lucky I am to have people in my life who pushed me to finish this journey to a new me.

And now, a few shout-outs:

  • Krista, the way you run looks effortless. It looked like just a quick jaunt in the park for you. You are going to be absolutely fabulous at your upcoming races. You inspire me.
  • Tracey, you are a rockstar. You came floating down to the finish line with such a beautiful smile on your face. The fact that you didn’t even look tired is baffling to me. I can’t wait to cheer you on in Rockford! You inspire me.
  • Rochelle, I am so proud of you for rocking this half marathon. You’ve bounced back from your knee injury and showed that setbacks won’t keep you down. You inspire me.
  • Anne, I know I’ve told you this a million times, but you are such an inspiration. Your journey, your story, pushes me. I know that if you can run half marathons for fun after having been overweight, that one day that WILL be me. You make me want to push harder, go faster and be a rockstar. Because that’s what you are. You didn’t let your knee injury take you out. You showed it who’s boss. #lovefest You inspire me.
  • Sarah, I am so freaking proud of you. You bolted down to the finish line like a fiend. Your focus, your determination and your drive make me feel fortunate to call you a friend. You inspire me.
  • Cheryl, you were so determined to finish strong and I’m so proud of you for that! You are setting such a great example for your kids. They’re lucky to have a mom who’s so dedicated to staying fit! You inspire me.
  • Tony, you finished so strong! I know you’ll do many more of these in the coming years. You and Rochelle are so lucky to share something like this! It was great hanging out with you today. You inspire me.
  • Lindsey, I could see the pain in your face as you turned the corner. I admire your determination and the fact that YOU DIDN’T GIVE UP. You finished what you started, and even though you didn’t get the time you wanted, you finished with a great time. Didn’t you JUST start running like 3 days ago? 😉 Take care of your knee and rock it at your next half. You inspire me.
  • Marty, I am so lucky to call you a friend. Your determination, your speed and your smile at the end of the race were so inspiring. I’m so proud of you for crossing that finish line and showing it who’s boss. You inspire me.
  • Mike, your smile at the end of the marathon was infectious. You looked so happy and so proud of yourself for what you were about to complete. I’m so proud of you for rocking this race. Your hard work paid off and now you’re a marathoner! Your journey encourages me to push myself to one day run 26.2 miles. You inspire me.

The people listed above (plus the ones I know I’ve forgotten – Joe, Erica, Matt, etc) showed me what is possible if you work hard. For some, it was their first long race. They made the race their bitch. I’m lucky to call these people my friends. Seriously, I thank God I have them in my life – to inspire, to push, to encourage.

IMG_1550IMG_1530 IMG_1531 IMG_1532 IMG_1533 IMG_1534 IMG_1535 IMG_1536 IMG_1538 IMG_1539 IMG_1540 IMG_1541 IMG_1543 IMG_1544 IMG_1546 IMG_1552 IMG_1553 IMG_1554 IMG_1555 IMG_1558 IMG_1559

How Social Media (@dailymile @twitter @facebook) saved my life

Social media saved my life.

I’m not being melodramatic. I’m completely serious. Social media saved my life. No, I didn’t get lost only to be found with the help of friends on Twitter and an iPhone app. I didn’t use social media to help me figure out what terminal disease I had. Social media did so much more.

Social media saved my life in a way I could have never imagined. Social media encouraged me to take better care of myself. Social media guilted me into working out. Social media introduced me to some amazing people. Social media used these people to make me a better Amy Kant.

I know I’m not the only person to meet life-long friends through social media. When I first joined Facebook in college (it debuted at UWM my senior year), I never thought it would be more than a tool for me to reconnect with friends and coworkers. When I joined Twitter in 2006 (or was it 2007?), I didn’t expect it to introduce me to the most amazing people I’ve ever met (If I were to list all of you, this post would never end, so consider yourself tagged). When I joined DailyMile in January, I thought it would simply be a place for me to log my exercise. And when I started this blog, my only intention was for it to serve as a diary of sorts, where I could document my journey to being a better me.

They saved my life.

I know that if it weren’t for Twitter and DailyMile, my life would be fast-tracking to a bad place. I was on a downward spiral to dying young. I was 100+ pounds overweight. I couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs without running out of breath. I had a hard time tying my shoes. I ate too much. I never exercised. I always drove even if my destination was nearby. I ate what I wanted when I wanted and ate my food so fast I rarely enjoyed it. I frequently enjoyed greasy, fatty foods with little regard to their calorie counts. I drank tons of (diet) soda and coffee. I always had some type of snack at my desk. Second or third or fourth helpings were always a possibility. Usually, they were a probability. I hated going places with friends where I would have to walk with them because I knew I would have a hard time keeping up without losing my breath. I wore dark colored clothes so I wouldn’t draw attention to myself. I tried to stand in the back of group photos. I tried to be the happy fat girl. I wanted to not care about my outward appearance. I saw a therapist semi-regularly. I was bloated. I saw a bleak, lonely future. I was anemic. I had hypothyroidism. I had high blood pressure. I needed to get tested for sleep apnea. I was tired. I was scared. I was 27 years old. I was dying.

Now, while many of these statements are still true to some extent, I can confidently say that I am no longer dying. I’ve lost 13 pounds. I’ve lost 18.5 inches. I’m working out 5-6 days a week. I did a 5k. I’m training for a half marathon. I can walk up a flight of stairs without reaching for my inhaler. I walk if my destination is less than 1.5-2 miles away. I’m cutting back on the unhealthy food choices, in favor of eating better and in smaller quantities. My desk snacks are organic fruit strips or granola. Third or fourth helpings are out of the question. I quit soda and caffeine, except for the occasional coffee or Sprite Zero. My clothes are falling off. My therapy appointments are few and far between. My blood pressure is back to normal. I have hope. I see a brighter future.

How did social media save my life?

It was my Twitter friends who encouraged me to see the doctor when I was freezing cold and exhausted all the time last fall. It was the “you need to change your life” talk with my doctor. It was seeing all the DailyMile posts feeding to my friends’ Twitter and Facebook pages. It was FitMilwaukeeIt was you.

You inspired me. You encouraged me. You blogged about your own fitness journeys. You encouraged me to join DailyMile. You made me want to be a better person. Yes, you. You all did that. I would marry you if polygamy was legal. I am so humbled and extremely grateful for Twitter, DailyMile, Facebook and all of you bloggers. You are the catalyst that jumpstarted my life. You made me feel alive again.

Thank you, from the deepest depths of my heart. I wouldn’t have started this journey (or kept with it) if it weren’t for each of you. I owe you my life. #truth