Runner Spotlight: Lisa Tilley

This week’s runner spotlight is on Instructional Associate Lisa Tilley.  Lisa works in the Field Placement Office for the Child Development and Education program at Northeast Campus.  Be sure to read how she began running and, while you’re at it, register for our inaugural Toro Dash! Registration for the Dec. 1 run ends Nov. 1.

Before Picture

What was your motivation for starting a walking/running program?

I was 50 pounds overweight, and it was my intention to be “fit at forty.” However, my 40th birthday came around in 2011 and I was still yo-yo-dieting and had not made any improvements to my fitness or nutrition. I was severely depressed about this until I realized I would be 40 for a whole year and could give it yet another try.

How did you get started?

I started with the TCC Shape Up program and the TCC NE gym in January of 2012. I could not run more than five minutes at a time, so I did walk/run intervals on the treadmill and kept working at it, extending the running portions of the intervals until I did not need the walk intervals anymore. I never left the gym without doing my three miles.

How has your life improved as a result of your walking/running?

My walking/running and attention to nutrition began to transform my body; as I lost the weight, I tried many new things I would never have been able to do when I was 50 pounds heavier. My best adventure so far has been having the opportunity to wake surf with my children. I also started spinning, which led to cycling and I participate in that on a weekly basis. I went from a size 18+ to a size 12. I still have some to lose but I know it will come in time. As I mentioned, I could not run more than five minutes at a time in January of this year, and on October 27, I will run the Soaring Wings Half Marathon in Little Rock, Arkansas.

After Picture

What advice would you have for others interested in starting a walking/running program?

Decide to do it for you. Own all the stress and negative energy in your life and redirect it towards your workout. Start with baby steps and challenge yourself every day. Later, when you look back you’ll be amazing at how far you have come! Get fanatical about eating to fuel your body rather than trying to work off junk food. Find activities that you love to do. Give yourself no excuses. You always have a choice.

To check out a Lisa’s recently published article on cycling, visit the Racing Post October Issue, page 9.  We’d also like to hear from you! Post your own running stories or tips in the comment section below.