Blyss Champion ~ Meet Judith

September 13, 2018

Blyss Champion ~ Meet Judith

I have known Judith for many years. Our boys, who are now in their 20's, played soccer together when they were elementary/middle school age. Even though I 'knew' her, I didn't really get to know her until the last few years when a mutual friend connected us in a Facebook group. She so inspired me with her dedication and commitment to her health! I was able to witness her weight loss journey and follow along on her beautiful hikes and impressive workouts. When she suddenly announced that she started to run, I was jumping for joy inside! There's something so exciting about seeing someone accomplish something that they thought they couldn't or wouldn't. 
Meet our September Blyss Champion, Judith....
When and why did you start running? What’s your story?
My running story is really my story to better health. I have struggled with weight my entire life. However, I have always enjoyed and participated in physical activity. I did throw shot put and discus in high school. I took weight training all through high school and college and a good part of my thirties, too. But, somewhere in my forties, things really kind of fell apart for me. I was only sleeping a few hours a night, eating junk food, and not exercising regularly. In my late forties I was the heaviest I had ever been, and my blood work only echoed what leading this lifestyle would result in; I had developed metabolic syndrome.
Immediately after getting this news, I was taking action to get my health back! My husband and I began hiking and making some simple lifestyle changes to improve our health. I also began working out with a local trainer, Chuck Wongchong, owner of Fitness Fundamentals, in Fletcher, North Carolina. ( I still train with Chuck and my 6:30 am gang to this day!)
As I became more fit, I wanted to lose more weight. One day, I was googling information on vitamin D deficiency and medium chain triglycerides and, by chance, found a woman on YouTube who absolutely was speaking to me through the TV about weight loss and learning to do hard things. She had lost 100 pounds herself! I binged on her videos of meal preps, and new ways of looking at life and weight loss coaching. After one week of watching her, I told my husband, I know it’s crazy, but this woman speaks to me in a way I can relate to. I am joining this! In March of 2017 I joined Corinne Crabtree, owner of Phit-n-Phat and hundreds of other women online who are all on a journey to lose weight and regain their health.
{ Judith before and after! }
By February of 2018, I had lost 80 pounds from my heaviest. Around this same time, Corinne announced she would be offering an online running class for interested tribe members. The goal would be to run a distance of your choice on June 2nd in Nashville Tennessee. At first, I was like, no way! Thoughts of my plantar fasciitis and thoughts of, “I can’t run” blurred my choice for weeks. But something inside me continued to be curious. Could I run a half marathon? When I heard the coaches talk about getting “time on your feet” versus running “times”; I knew I could hike 13 miles, so maybe I could do a half marathon, too! I decided to sign up on the last day, probably down to the last minute, to commit to run a half marathon. I started training in mid February. I held myself accountable by signing up for runs that coincided with my training plan. I did the Black Mountain Greenway Challenge 10k, Kiwanis Club Biltmore 15k, the Gateway to the Smokies 13.1, The Downhill at Dawn 13.1 and then to my goal race, The Don’t Stop Believing 13.1! I am very proud to have completed it in 2 hours 29 minutes!
During the rest of June and July, I stayed in shape by running The Asheville 10k, a few 5k’s and just competed the Apple Festival 8k. I have also been trail running with my friend Alyson, who introduced me to the sport! For many years I have admired Alyson and her running endeavors. And never once did I ever imagine I would be running on the trails with her one day. I am grateful for all that running has brought into my life.
Favorite distance? And /or favorite race you have run?
My favorite distance at this moment, would be the 10k. My favorite race would have to be The Don’t Stop Believing Half Marathon because it represents the process of putting my health back in my control! Prettiest race definitely has been the Biltmore 15k.
If you could go on a run anywhere, where would it be? Your ideal run?
 I would love to trail run the fjords of Norway with my friend who lives there. One day I will.
Favorite pre or post run food?
Ok, this is easy! If I am running locally, my favorite post meal is table side guacamole with chips, 2 shrimp tacos and a skinny margarita from Papa’s and Beer!
Do you cross train?
I do HIIT 3-4 times a week, and I still love to hike. I have also started taking fitness dance classes. I try to keep my body moving every day. Whatever it takes.
{ on recent hike in her Dash'n Dots Skirt }
Do you use a GPS or track your mileage and if so, which one?
I do not use any gps device or data collectors.
What have I learned/gained from running?  
Mostly, I have gained further evidence that I am capable of doing hard things!
{ another before and after photo! }
Your next running goal? 

 I am pleased with running and just want to run enough to be able to pop in a race whenever I like. With that said,  I am seriously considering training for The Asheville Half at Biltmore in March of 2019.


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