Colorado mother runner Kerri Olkjer, who is expecting her fourth child this June, lives a happy and healthy life on a farm with her family (she’s also mom to three boys, ages 18, 9 and 7), but acknowledges she’s had to battle her “negative bent.” “I truly believe happiness is a choice and for me that choice involved changing my negative mindset,” Kerri says. “I had to proactively stop the negative attitude, self-talk, and outlook. I had to choose to look for the good in life, to believe for the good, and allow myself to hope.” Running helps her stay positive, and it’s also aided her significant weight loss in the past several years.
Best recent run: My favorite recent run would have to be my first run after the morning sickness with this pregnancy passed. I had been terribly ill this time around and had not run at all for two months. That first run felt like bliss. It was only 2 miles of intervals on the treadmill, but it reminded me how awesome it is to be alive and to be able to move this body of mine.
From size 22 to size 8: Running has played a huge part in my weight loss journey. Yes, it was often my cardio of choice, but it was so much more than that. I truly believe that lasting weight loss takes far more mental and emotional work than physical. Running taught me that I can; it taught me to believe in myself and what my body was capable of. It was my “me time.” My time to nurture and care for myself. It was my stress relief, my therapy. It was out on runs that I did much of the tough work.
Going Paleo: Paleo surprised me. While I originally tried it out to see if it would help me lose weight, my results far surpassed that. Yes, I lost weight with Paleo, but I’ve seen so many more benefits than that! It cleared up my adult acne, I have more energy, I feel clear-headed, and I no longer feel the urge to binge. I chose to stick with Paleo not because I think it’s the magical cure for weight loss, but because it made me feel fantastic. So much so that I couldn’t believe how not fantastic I’d been feeling without fully realizing it!
Best-ever running advice ever received: You don’t have to run fast! This helped me so much in the beginning (I didn’t start running until I was 30). I started out running 13 and 14 minute miles. I think I would have given up long ago were it not for this piece of advice.
Healthy & Happy: Healthy is of course the obvious things like the lack of illness and disease, but it’s more than that. It’s having the energy to play tag with my kids and the ability to haul a 50-pound bag of chicken feed. It’s feeling energetic, strong, and ready to take on my life!
I can’t run without: Music. I often envy those who can just go out and be one with the run… But that’s not me. I need my music. It’s just not a great run if I’m not belting out Kelly Clarkson and scaring the cows.
After No. 4 Arrives…: Post-baby I hope to get back into 5K shape by fall. After that I hope to work on my speed some and maybe do a half-marathon. Someday I will have a rematch with the marathon. I ran my marathon still weighing 187 pounds and with a hurt hip. My time was terrible and someday I’d like to run another. I’ve learned so much about myself and training in general. One day I’ll attack that marathon.