About Me

My name is Christie. I also respond to “Becca’s Mom”, “Jr’s Mom”, “Joshua’s Mom”, “Anneliese’s Mom”, “Savannah’s Mom”, “that crazy running lady” or “honey” (when my spouse is beckoning me.)  My super supportive husband, Wayne and I have five amazing kids ranging in age from 8 – 15.

In May of 2008, after going through five pregnancies, I found myself overweight and unhappy. I’d watched my own fit, trim Mom run a marathon the year she was 40 and I realized that I would never achieve something like that if I stayed out of shape and wasn’t exercising. So, I bought a pair of running shoes, printed off the Couch to 5k running program and slowly but surely started to change my life — one step at a time.

Though I never dieted at all, I was able to go from a size 14 to a size 4 (losing about 80 lbs) in 2 years. I found my peace of mind, my joy, my happiness and many friends along the way — many of them just like me – Moms and Dads who’d given so much to their jobs, their communities, their families, but who had stopped taking care of their own bodies and spirits in the process – but who reclaimed those things through running!

I ran my first marathon in October of 2009 when I was 36 years old. I’ve since ran many more marathons including running the Boston Marathon in 2014, which was a dream come true that happened after I finally ran a 3:40 marathon fast enough to qualify in 2013!  It took me 7 marathons to get reach that goal, by the way and I came within a 2-3 minutes twice before finally reaching my goal (a good lesson in rewards coming my way if I was willing to keep trying to aim for a difficult goal.) I’ve also ran several ultras (including four 100 milers) and some shorter distances and my husband and I have even turned my passion for running into our full-time jobs as race directors in the Boise, Idaho area where we direct 10 local races (including two certified marathons) with the help of our five kids!

I’m also heading to Denmark in May of 2015 to run the Copenhagen Marathon (my first international racing experience, which I’m excited about) and I’m hoping to qualify for Boston again this year at either Potato Marathon or the Freakin Fast Marathon (put on by our company, Final Kick Events!)

Now that I’m 42, I feel more alive and youthful than I ever have! It’s been an exciting journey to find out I’m stronger than I thought I was and I believe my children have been encouraged to seek out their own passions and dreams with the same vigor and passion I’ve channeled into my running!  I’m a Mother and I’m a Runner and in my book, I can’t imagine being one without the other anymore!

I hope to share my story – the highs and the inevitable lows, along with my passion and joy as I continue on this journey as a mother who loves to run.  My wish is to encourage you — that if an overweight, super busy, homeschooling Mom of five can find the time and determination to become a runner again, lose the weight and find JOY in life again — so can you! YOU CAN DO IT!

Here’s a photo from me at about my biggest weight (about 200 lbs) in mid 2007.  I thought I’d be overweight forever. I was wrong! I lost the weight, learned to MAKE time to exercise several times a week and felt reborn in the process. Dreams can come true!

Who I Was:

And Who I am Today (I’m in the middle in the braids):

20 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Christie, you are such an inspirational runner, with an amazing writing talent and a beautiful family. I followed many of your achievements on DailyMile but don’t remember seeing your blog until you posted a note about it. I am glad you have this blog, which one day will give the material for the best seller book that you will write! 🙂
    If you are ever in Virginia or if I ever come to your neck of the woods we should get together for a run or two… even though my preference would be for me to come west as your pictures are amazing!!

  2. Enjoyed reading your bio and a couple of post on your long runs. We have a few things in common. I have also taught my kids (7 of them) at home and have exercised over the years. (I just turned 51) I don’t think I’ll ever run a 100 mile race, but my husband is an encouraging coach (and excellent runner) and hopes to work me up to longer races. I DID do my first sprint triathlon last year and was quite proud of my efforts. Have taken up barefoot (spring/summer) and minimalist (winter) running to help keep the form good. I couldn’t run any other way. Anyway, it’s nice to “meet” another mom in the area that is enjoying running!

    • It’s wonderful to “meet” you too, Laura! Congratulations on the sprint triathlon and homeschooling all seven of your children! What terrific accomplishments!

  3. Hi Christie,

    I’ve just found your blog, via my DH who’s a fairly serious runner. Strange thing is, as he has started running and worked himself into amazing shape over the last year or two, I’ve gone exactly the other way . . . we have six children, and I weigh now what I did just before I delivered the last one nearly two years ago. (I’m about 62 pounds above a truly healthy weight.) I can totally understand how you felt when you began, and what motivated you. The thing I really want to know is how you did it. How you found the time . . . how your family accommodated you in doing so. We homeschool also, and I just can’t seem to figure out where to take the time to take care of myself, especially with my husband running so many hours each week. (He’s always training for a 50k or 50-miler.) I know I need to do it so I can care for everyone else so much better–I need to be at the top of my game with this crew, and I want to run with my husband–but it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. The details of daily life are so in my face that I can’t get enough perspective to see my way through. Could you tell us how you started, what it looked like in your family? I would really love to hear how you did it.

    Thank you for writing, and for sharing what you’ve been able to accomplish. I dream of running with my husband, sharing the amazing places together, instead of seeing photos after he gets home. Seeing your blog has helped bring that dream into better focus. 🙂

    • Hello Annalea,

      The beginning of my journey was the hardest part. I really did think it was impossible for me to find the time to exercise or get away on my own for a bit a few times a week. I held to that belief firmly for the first decade of raising a family. Once I found a way to make time for working out, it seemed like it had been there all along and I just wasn’t aware of it. When I began, I used the Couch to 5K walking to running program, which was perfect for me, since it started with mostly walking and just small bursts of jogging for half an hour three times a week. Sometimes I would do this while pushing a double stroller or carrying my youngest in a sling or backpack carrier. I tried having the older children ride their bikes, but found it hard to really get my heart pumping since we had to stop so much. My most productive workouts were when I went on my own and left my husband in charge of the children, after we’d had dinner and he’d gotten home from work. And, once in a while, I’d get lucky and have another Mom friend join me and we’d enjoy some wonderful conversation as we walk/jogged. That part alone – the friendship, the conversation with other grownups — in the end was what I probably needed the most. A chance to laugh and talk and come back refreshed.

      Early on, there were days when the only time I could get away by myself would be after the kids were in bed. My husband would sit on the front porch, with the baby monitor and I’d do loops around the block in the dark. He felt this was a way to keep me safe by keeping an eye on me and I felt good knowing he was at home with the kids in case they needed anything. I learned to really look forward to looking up at the stars at night and relaxing as I did my workouts. I tried buying a treadmill and using that at home but found it too hard to do with so many little ones around who always seemed to need me if I was in the house. So, I learned to go out no matter what the weather and get my run/walk in and that has also been one of the keys to losing the weight and keeping it off. I’m very consistent.

      These days I run anywhere from 30 – 100 miles in a week, depending on what I’m training for (or what races I’m doing.) I try to get in close to 50 miles per week as much as possible. That usually means I am running 4-5 days per week. The way I manage that while also homeschooling my children is to get up really early a few days a week. I’m up at 4:30 am and meeting a friend or two by 5:30 am. I have ultra runner pals who live in the neighborhood, so I do some of my runs from my front door and am back home, showered and making breakfast by 7:30 am. The children wake by 8 am and don’t even realize I was gone and I’m ready to face the housework and school day with energy since I got my run in before everything else started. I find that when I try to put off the run until later in the day, I often end up at bedtime still wearing running clothes that didn’t get sweated in! So, most of the time, that is what works the best — to run before the kids wake up! I do my long run on Saturday or Sunday, usually with friends. That can range from a couple hours to five hours sometimes. That, also involves getting up really early, so I’m back in time to join the family for activities in the afternoon. This has worked well for our family since my husband works outside the home the rest of the week and likes to sleep in on the weekend. I have come home from 20+ mile runs to find the family still in pjs or working together in the yard – all in good moods, so it’s worked for us.

      There is a lot of juggling when both spouses are runners, but it can be done! My husband ran his first 50k this past year and he also directs 4 local races, so we’re often trying to juggle family responsibilities, each of our workout needs and a small business and most of the time it works out. I’ve had to learn to accept that my house isn’t always as clean as I’d like or the extra projects I’d like to do with the kids might not happen as often as I’d hoped, but in general, we’re fairly balanced and happy and I think each member of the family would say their needs are met. I think one thing we do different than many families is that we do not have our children enrolled in lots of extra activities. They do local races, have competed in chess tournaments and did baseball and ballet for a while, but our energy was on low trying to drive the kids to so many outside activities and it was really hard to get our workouts in. I do have a friend who has a son in football this year, though who told me she is running laps around the track as he practices, which did sound like another smart solution if you find yourself in that boat!

      Probably the most important thing you can do is decide that you are ready to change. If you cling to that and set your mind to exercising 3 x a week for half an hour, it will make a huge difference! Sit down and look at a calendar and decide what days you’ll workout. Make it official! Invite a friend (peer pressure helps me a TON!) And, then never let the weather or a cold or hardly anything else stand in the way of getting that half an hour. It’s amazing how the world doesn’t actually fall apart in our homes when we take time for ourselves (though I certainly convinced myself before I started that it would!) Decide that you are worth it! Allow yourself to move up on the list of “to dos” and try not to feel guilty! I let guilt keep me from working out for years and now I realize that my kids understand that it’s good for Mommy to have exercise, some time with her friends and personal goals too! I pour my heart into them when I’m home and allow myself to mentally relax and enjoy my runs when I am away.

      You can do it! It won’t be easy, especially at first — but it can be done! I know many others who have stories just like mine, who one day decided that enough was enough and decided to make themselves a priority! None of them regret that decision! We are healthier, happier, more balanced parents now and you can be too! Go get your dreams! 😀

  4. Christie, I’m not sure I can really explain how much your response has helped me. I’ve always derived a great deal of my confidence from knowing that I can do whatever I set my mind to do . . . but for some reason, I was stumped here. Thank you for being willing to tell me more about your family, and how you manage a two-runner homeschooling home . . . and for allowing me to see how similar our families are. Now, I’m off to pick a schedule . . . 😀

    • Annalea,

      You’re so very welcome! I’m the same way. I really prefer to see a nuts-and-bolts explanation of something to really understand how to make it happen in my own life. I’m happy to help!

      Christie 🙂

      • Good. 🙂 Because you have . . . I started my C25k program this morning. I’m not much of a blogger, but I’ll be posting this stuff on facebook.

        Thanks again . . . and have a wonderful week!!!

  5. It’s so wonderful to read your inspiring story. I too started the couch to 5 kms and progressed to 10km and I am now looking at my first half in April. I am so excited and I have got the bug and I am more than a little bit obsessed! I haven’t even run my first half and I am wondering if I have a marathon in me. I think maybe I have and reading blogs like yours tells me I can. Thank you so much.

    • Congratulations on all your progress in your running life, Lee!!! It’s wonderful to see how far we can go when we just keep at it! And, YES, if you have the desire to run a marathon — you can totally do it!!! That is really the most important component of all – the passion!! Keep up the great training and I hope to hear back when you’ve chosen a first marathon to work towards! You can do it!!! 😀 Happy Running!

  6. I just stumbled upon your blog in the funniest way. I was looking for an image of Jackson Pollock at his heaviest (we just watched the movie “Pollock” with Ed Harris as JP last night and I wanted to see how a fat Ed Harris compared with a fat Jackson Pollock). Well, apparently there’s a “Jackson & Pollock” body fat chart, so instead of finding fat pics of JP, I found body fat images! That MRI you posted on December of last year was one that really caught my eye! Then I just had to read through your entire blog. Your stories are so inspirational, THANK YOU FOR TELLING THEM! I wish I could go run RIGHT NOW! I’ve never run more than 4.5 miles in my life, but as soon as I’m healed up (ankle injury), I will make a 10K my goal. It’s always refreshing to see someone who has really changed her life for the better! Keep up the good work. I’ll be following you!

    • You just made my whole day!!! Thanks for taking the time to drop me a line! When I started I could not run a block without a sideache – and that was about 5 years ago. Now I know I can run a 100 miles. It’s amazing what you can do when you just keep putting one foot in front of the other and determine in your heart to achieve! Best of luck to you in your goal 10k! You can do it!!! 😀

  7. Hi Christie – I’m a writer for Women’s Running magazine and would love to chat with you for an upcoming story. Can you send me your email? karadeschenes at gmail dot com.

    Thanks!

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