I’m Tara. I started playing soccer at age 12. I played through high school. It was my main source of exercise.
My senior year of high school, I lost a dramatic amount of weight. I was down from a size 10 junior year to a size four in nearly six months. I thought, maybe, I was finally evening out. I was wrong.
By my freshman year of college I had gained 60 pounds. I was unhealthy and sluggish.
Something was wrong.
Doctors (multiple ones, yes) told me to get out and exercise. I wasn’t trying to be difficult when I’d ask: “How can I go out and exercise if I’m tired all the time?”
I couldn’t. The pounds kept piling on. I didn’t eat horribly. But I was working a nearly full-time job to get through college and taking 16-18 units a semester. I graduated a year early from University of the Pacific in Stockton and headed to University of California, Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism.
It was there, at nearly 200 pounds, I decided enough was enough.
That began a series of blood tests and medication test runs that lasted nearly six months in itself. One doctor told me just to lose the weight, I’d feel better. Another thought I had a pituitary tumor.
Finally, in April 2006 I was diagnosed with diabetes.
I spent the next 3-plus years trying to figure out how to live my life and still be able to enjoy food.
It wasn’t until I started seeing a particularly good endocrinologist in Stockton, Calif. that I had an “ah ha” moment. He told me, during a routine visit where he mentioned his concern about my weight, that he wanted me to be more active. I told him I was trying. And then he made a telling prediction: “One day, you’ll wake up and realize that you can’t live this way anymore. But you have to decide that for yourself.”
That happened on Dec. 26, 2009. I had to return a size large top and get an extra large just to have something to wear to a late Christmas dinner at my sister-in-law’s house.
I made a decision on the way home.
I couldn’t live the way I was anymore.
The next day, I started running on the treadmill I purchased three years earlier to “get in shape” for my wedding. I haven’t stopped since.
That first year was one of huge discovery for me. I ran my fastest 5K. I ran my first 10K. I was petrified for that one. I didn’t think I could make it that far.
I lost 30 pounds with a combination of running and calorie counting. I’ve bulked up and gained muscle too.
After the 10K, I signed up for a half marathon for June 2011. By March, I was running the Oakland Running Festival’s half as my first instead.
My target this year was the California International Marathon. I didn’t run a Boston-eligible time (that will likely NEVER happen). But I finished. My hope is to get faster.
That’s me! Working my way through a 5:20:41 marathon! I did it!
On top of all of that, I’m a community college instructor and freelance web journalist, have a strong marriage (4+ years) and care for our slightly different pets – three Chow Chow dogs, Sky, Beau and Cassie, and two ducks, Duff and Lily.
I was introduced to a new acquaintance by a friend not long ago, who started with my name, listed my profession and other tidbits and ended with “…and she runs.”
That sums up my life and my journey pretty much accurately.
…and she runs. is published on the Linen premium WordPress theme with CSS and PHP alterations. It operates with social media plugins and SEO through Google Analytics. Prior to the move to Linen theme, the blog operated on a very altered version of the free Deep Silent theme. The move to the Linen theme came as Deep Silent hadn’t been updated for more than two years and was starting to have compatibility issues with newer WordPress releases.
To those starting a blog: Don’t go crazy and buy a theme, space, etc. immediately. Make the commitment to space and premium theme only after you make a commitment to regularly updating your cyber space.