How long have you been running?
We began running in February of 2017, so we are on our seventh month of running at this point in August.
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What prompted you to start?
We started running to supplement our healthier eating choices, and to increase our cardiovascular fitness. We knew that running would be a great way to ensure that we kept up our healthy habits.
How often do you run?
We run four to five times each week, but that can change depending on how our bodies feel, or the weather. We do our best to listen to our bodies and recognise when running could injure us. At the same time, we take advantage of the days when we feel especially strong, and push ourselves faster and further than usual.
What is your routine?
Our running routine is centred on a group of runs throughout the Butte area. The local university, Montana Tech, is built on the top of a massive hill that allows us to train with inclines on a regular basis. We also are fortunate enough to have numerous paved trails throughout Butte where we can run and experience different parts of the city. However, we do not have a particular schedule or set number of kilometres. Our best factor in determining the length or intensity of each workout is listening to our bodies. We also need to be flexible due to weather, because the weather in Montana is extremely variable (and that’s putting it lightly).
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Do you race? If so, how often, and what kind of races?
Yes, we love to race! We have run a handful of 5K and 10K races, but our favourite race thus far has been our first half marathon, which we ran in Portland at the Foot Traffic Flat. We have another half marathon planned for early September in Bozeman, and plan to run the 2018 San Francisco Marathon, which will be one week after our wedding! No better way to kick off the honeymoon!
Do you engage in other sports or activities? If so, what and how often?
Yes, we use cross training to avoid overworking specific muscles that we use for running. We swim, play tennis, go hiking in beautiful Southwest Montana, and use weight lifting to work on our strength and flexibility.
What’s the most rewarding part of running for you?
The most rewarding part of running has been exploring parts of Montana we never thought we would be able to see. There are so many trails throughout the area surrounding Butte, and each of them is more beautiful than the last. We also love to inspire those around us to be more active and live healthier, since they are able to see just how happy running has made us and the changes it has caused in every aspect of our lives.
Please describe your weight loss journey, including your before and after weights.
Our lives changed dramatically during our drive back to Montana after visiting our families in California for Christmas. We agreed that our lifestyle needed to change dramatically if we wanted to live full and happy lives. Paul was 138 kilograms, and Kelsey was 103 kilograms. We were frustrated with how difficult minor aspects of life had become, and especially upset because of our professions. As a fifth grade teacher, Paul felt that he was failing his students by not setting an example of living healthy. As a future nurse, Kelsey did not feel comfortable working in a health profession without setting the example of healthful living. We decided that going on a “diet” would never be able to help us meet our goals. We needed a lifestyle change.
We began cooking all of our meals, instead of eating out on a regular basis. Kelsey’s health background helped dramatically, as we were able to understand the importance of balancing the macronutrients of carbohydrates, fat, and protein. Controlling our food was the most helpful aspect of this entire journey. As we progressed out of the winter, we began to explore outdoor exercise options. We both have extensive swimming and water polo backgrounds, but we agreed that running would be the best option because it would allow us to explore Montana.
As soon as we began running, we realised that this sport was not only extremely beneficial to our bodies, but also our relationship. Life as an newly engaged couple had become hectic, and the time we took to get away from our jobs and other responsibilities to run allowed us to talk and catch up on a regular basis. We would look forward to our time alone each day, and enjoyed watching Montana transition from winter to spring, and then to summer.
By the time we reached the end of summer, we had lost an enormous amount of weight through the simple pairing of healthy eating and regular running. Paul now weighed 84 kilograms, dropping a total of 54 kilograms. Kelsey now weighed 73.5 kilograms, down a total of 29.5 kilograms. We have dropped 84 kilograms together so far, and we are looking forward to a future of healthful living filled with running and races!
What is the secret to your weight loss success?
Our secret is home cooking. As long as you control every aspect of the food you eat, there are no surprises! We recommend tracking macronutrients to ensure that you are getting a healthy amount of fat, carbohydrates, and protein each day. Balancing these will protect your body as you begin exercising, and help you to avoid injury. Beyond that, never allow yourself to be caught up in day-to-day issues, such as a weight fluctuation that makes you feel as if you’re going in the wrong direction. Look at the big picture and trust the process. Aim for a lifestyle change, not a diet.
How do you stay motivated?
We stay motivated with races! We love to travel to new places and race in a brand new city. With races on the schedule, we are able to train with a particular distance and pace in mind. Nothing excites us more than getting Runner’s World in the mail and picking up on tips from experts. We take advantage of training advice for all sorts of races that the magazine has to offer. We also gain a huge amount of motivation from our friends and family, who have been extremely supportive of our lifestyle change and have even picked up running themselves! We share our experience on our joint Instagram account @runbutte that allows us to encourage others in Montana to get out and run.
Do you have any favorite motivational quotes?
“Trust the process” -Joel Embiid
“A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.” -John Burroughs
What are your current short and long term goals?
Our short term goal is to run the San Francisco Marathon in 2018, which takes place less than a week after our wedding! We are thrilled to incorporate our passion into our honeymoon. Our long term goals include, running marathons throughout the country and around the world, as well as gaining an audience on Instagram that allows us to motivate others to change their lives as we have been able to do. We want to show that weight loss is more than possible, and we want to be the support system for others who might not be lucky enough to have others to support them like we had each other.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
We love to help people with personal challenges or specific questions! Anyone can message us through our Instagram @runbutte and we will always answer! We have been through a lot together, and we want to help others change their lives!
This article originally appeared on Runner's World.