Sole Story: Delanie West

Everyone has a story. For some it’s a story of wanting something more, for others it’s a story full of tears, heart and determination. Our series “Sole Stories” will give you a glimpse into what drives women to change their lives and their “soles.” We recently met Delanie West when she responded to our request to be feautred in our "Sole Stories" series. In couple of lines of her email to us, she mentioned that she ran her way through a divorce and completed 7 half-marathons in a year. Immediately we were inspired and we knew that we had to share her story with you guys. 1. You are fairly new to running. How and why did you get started? Completing the NYC Marathon always been on my list of goals or my "bucket" list. The activity of running also seemed to be a great way to manage my weight as I get older. I used the couch to 5K application to get started, and it is a wonderful way for the non- runner to build endurance. [caption id="attachment_1137" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Crossing the Finish Line at the Silver Springs 5k"][/caption] 2. You mentioned in your email to us that running helped you through a divorce and changed your perspective on stress. Can you elaborate? Often I would be so stressed out, I'd just put on my running shoes and hit the pavement, by mile two my mind was thinking of better things. Before I discovered running, I'd walk around with knots in my back from work related stress. Now that I run regularly I don't have any stress issues whatsoever. Its made a huge difference in how I deal with stressors & other challenges, I always remind myself, "If I can run for 13 miles, I'm tougher than this difficult situation, I CAN deal with this." 3. Besides running, what other exercises are apart of your fitness routine? In the summer, tennis and boot fitness camp outdoors. But I make sure to get a few pilates sessions in during the week. I unfortunately developed sciatica, a result of incorrectly using some gym equipment - so the Pilates helps to manage that issue - helps to strengthen my core. 4. This year you ran 7 half marathons! That is amazing! What was the motivation behind all of that racing? The cliche goes, "Running is an addiction" a cliche but there's real truth to that. There is the whole excitement on race day that can't compare to anything else. I like destination races, so I try to schedule in some interesting locales. I’m into the training and anticipation of the actual race day. I'm addicted to the swag and the hardware. I check out what that medal looks like before I enter the race! I'm lucky to have several cousins and friends who have also embraced the sport - we fly in to cities to run races together - we cheer and support each other over Facebook/Twitter/NikePlus - races are like a social activity. The real reason? It's just plain FUN! [caption id="attachment_1129" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Delanie after the Philly half"][/caption] 5. What is your favorite running gear? My must haves are Muzino Wave Creation running shoes - I'm very careful to make sure I replace them when they are worn out. I have all brands of running gear, from Nike to Brooks, but my most comfortable running bottoms are capris and sports bras from Target's store brand. For cold weather and race days I go for Nike moister wicking fabrics and Nike thermals. 6. Have you made any adjustments to your diet since you have been running? If so, what changes have you made? I've always been a conscientious eater, I am on my 15th year pescetarianism. Mmy divorce helped me to return to the foods that I enjoyed - not having to shop for or dine out to satisfy someone else's eating habits really helped me consume the foods I loved. The major adjustments as they relate to running for me was the difference between eating because it " was time" and food as fuel. Before a run - there are certain combinations that I must eat. I've eliminated wholly processed foods from my diet, focus on proteins - complex carbs, lots of green foods and juicing. I've learned how to eat in response to my body's needs after 30 years of practicing what I learned from family, which was not necessarily correct. I love that running allows me to eat a cupcake when I want it - burning so many calories has it's benefits :). My two favorite quotes "Eat Breakfast like a King - Lunch like a Pauper - Dinner like a Prince." And then "Eat Food for Fuel." 7. Do you have any words of encouragement for other women who are embracing fitness and a healthy lifestyle? Running is not for everyone. Once you find the fitness activity that's for you - work towards those 20 days of developing that exercise regimen so it becomes habit. You've got to find something that you enjoy - or it becomes a chore to keep up the routine. I will advocate running to anyone - the commitment of registering for a race - and the goal of finishing - and training to run that race is a GOOD way to maintain focus and reach the goal. Use social media to share your goals and progress with your friends - I'm an advocate of social medial sharing. There are lots of applications that allow you to share your progress online - it' keeps me accountable to my friends & family. [caption id="attachment_1135" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="A Family Photo"][/caption]


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