Kimberly Truesdell, who is training for the Columbus Marathon on Oct. 21, transformed her life when she joined a weight loss program and began running races—she lost a whopping 120 pounds, completing four half-marathons (a fifth is scheduled for Sept. 1, the Indianapolis Women’s Half-Marathon), a 16-mile trail race, “a(n epic) 50K relay,” and a dozen or so 5Ks and 10Ks along the way. Wow, we’re so impressed with your accomplishments, Kimberly! This 31-year-old mom of one—her son Miles is almost 14 months old—is from Fort Wayne, Ind., where she works as an editor for the local newspaper.
Best recent run: I waited the entire summer to run in the rain and the morning of the women’s Olympic marathon, the dry Midwest decided to resemble London. The sky was dark and the rain poured. I pulled my cap on and set out for long run of 12 miles. There was just something in the air that day—for two hours, I felt free and in the moment, strong and steady. And, when I got home, my husband had coffee and a Dunkin Donuts sandwich for me and my in-laws entertained Miles as I ate, feet up, watching the (recorded) marathon.
Eating & Running: My marathon training started off well but started to get a bit bumpy. While I was nailing weekday runs, I was struggling on the long runs. I thought it was heat, fueling, and traveling, but no matter what I tried, I couldn’t get over 12 miles. I was feeling desperate, and limiting/giving up dairy was a shot in the dark. I mostly limit dairy products during the week and avoid them all together the day before a long run. It’s quelled the scary grumbling in the gut and helped me to feel stronger.
Finish It training plan: When I was looking for a marathon plan, I wanted something that would be good for a first-time marathoner, but wasn’t a beginner plan. The TLAM Finish It plan has some challenging, quality workouts but isn’t overly aggressive. I’ve had some setbacks, mostly with long runs, that I will attribute to the oppressive heat this summer and fueling problems. I’m now “caught up” and feeling good.
Success off the scale: My weight-loss journey is like one of those horrible travel experiences. You think you booked a direct flight but ended up sleeping on a cot in the Memphis airport and visiting two more airports before reaching your destination. I lost 50 pounds, then 20 more only to gain that 20 back, lose it again, gain it again … well, you get the idea. In March 2009, my mom died as an indirect result of her super obesity. That summer, we took in her energetic Siberian husky puppy, and my best friend’s success with Weight Watchers inspired me to join. The three events gave me the jump-start I needed. Along the way, I found running and it was through running that I truly found a healthy lifestyle. I found a way to identify myself outside of weight and a way to measure success without stepping on a scale.
BODYPUMP coaching: BODYPUMP is a strength-training class that incorporates a barbell, high repetitions and fun music to tone the entire body. I went through training in April and now have a regular class. It’s a great workout for runners because you strengthen your legs with squats and lunges, and work the core and arms, which help you when you are fatigued.
Can’t run without: I’d say clothes, but with as hot as it’s been this summer, it’s been tempting to adopt the uniform of Kara Goucher and Shalane Flanagan. In all seriousness: my Road ID. I often run through our neighborhood and those surrounding us, and drivers aren’t always diligent. I got one after I had Miles that has both of our names and his birth date in the event that something terrible happens.
Post-’thon running: After I get through the marathon, I’m looking forward to doing some shorter races and regain some speed I lost since pregnancy. (Sadly, I’m not one of those mothers who has a baby and magically runs 7-minute miles.) I’d love to PR the half-marathon. Oh, and I am itching like a kid with chicken pox to do an overnight relay. I’m hoping to get additional certifications to teach Spinning and other group exercise classes.