Your Story: Celeste Stone

My name is Celeste Stone. I am 28, from West Jordan and I ran the Wasatch Woman Love Your Body 10K race.  This was the first race I competed in and it was a huge milestone for me.

I gained a lot of weight after getting married and having kids. I struggled with eating issues in high school. I went through self-loathing for years. Two years ago I weighed nearly 300 lbs and could not even run two blocks. Something changed then.  I took control of my life and started loving my self. I lost over 100 lbs through healthy eating and exercise. I never liked running, but always wanted to be a runner.  I worked on it for eight months until I could finally say: I love to run.

The Wasatch Woman Love Your Body race was the perfect first race for me because of the theme. I learned to love my self and my body. I was so excited and nervous to run. I choose to start in the back so I wouldn’t feel bad when the more experienced runners passed me.

As I waited for it to start I didn’t know what to expect.  I knew I needed to pace my self, though, so I could run the whole thing. I got teary when the race started because I couldn’t believe I was doing it. I was always a person who would start something and not finish. (I kept telling myself I was not going to do that.) I kept my pace and even passed people. It felt great! When some one passed me it didn’t bother me because all that mattered was running the whole time and finishing.

The hills were intimidating, but I was determined. When we hit the last big hill and a ton of ladies started to walk, something changed in me. There was no way I was going to walk. I ran past them and again felt tears swell up. I was doing it! I was going to finish!

When I saw the finish, a sudden a burst of energy hit me and I sprinted.  I could hear my family yelling but I didn’t look. I was so focused on finishing. As I crossed the line, I started to cry. I felt overwhelmed: I finished what I started! And, to my surprise, I ran faster than I thought I would. My average run was always around an 11 minute mile (without hills). I ran an average of 10 minutes per mile with hills.

This was a life changing experience — I plan on running this race every year and I hope to teach my daughter to love her body!

With much gratitude,

The Wasatch Woman Love Your Body 5K/10K walk/run will be held on October 9 at Thanksgiving Point. To sign up, go to www.wasatchwoman.com.  If you would like to train for your first 5k, join the Salt Lake Running Co. 5k running group, the official training partner of the Wasatch Woman Love Your Body 5k/10k, on Saturday mornings at 8:30am.

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