Lifestyle Change Introduces Mother of Two to Running

Lifestyle change leads to running, becoming more of a role model for her kids

Think back to when you started running – what was the reason? Just like every runner is different, so is the story of how every runner became a runner. Watching her boys grow up, Christy Thomas, mother of two, decided to make a lifestyle change. Read her edition of My Running Story to learn what led to this lifestyle change and what distance she’ll run during Austin Marathon weekend.

My running story is extraordinary because it has changed me inside and out

Image of Christy Thomas at a running event. She began running because she wanted to make a lifestyle change. Christy will run the 2020 Austin Half Marathon!

Christy started running after deciding to make a lifestyle change.

In 2015, I realized that I needed to make a lifestyle change. I would watch my two amazing little boys and be happy because they were mine. And then I would start thinking that if I wanted to be able to enjoy them as much as I could and as long as I could, I needed to change my habits and my health. There weren’t any major medical issues, but I was a bit overweight and pretty sedentary. I was ready to change my lifestyle.

I started with just a few miles at a time. During the Texas summer. And IT WAS HOT. Some would say it was the perfect time to begin. I was miserable. Then it got a bit better. And I found friends who ran. Better yet, friends that lived close, ran the same pace, and had kids about the same ages. It all clicked. 

Can’t stop running

I haven’t stopped running. In fact, my friends have pushed me to run farther and faster (not at the same time) than I ever thought I could do myself. Since I decided to make a lifestyle change and began running, I’ve become a healthy and happy role model for my kids. And I know I’ll be around for a long time to see my boys grow up. I’m excited to run the Austin Half Marathon and continue to be an excellent mother and role model.

My Running Story is a series of blog submissions from runners just like yourself. They submitted their inspirational running stories as part of a contest to win an entry of their choice to the 2020 Ascension Seton Austin Marathon. Their stories range from crossing their first finish line to drastic lifestyle change due to running. Everyone’s story is different and unique, impacting them in a specific way. While each story is specific to the author, everyone can resonate in some form or fashion because of the power of running. Other My Running Story submissions include Kayleigh Williamson, Kirsten Pasha, Michael Coffey, Samantha Santos, Tom Hamann, Erica Richart, Angela Clark, Rebecca Galvan, Jeremy Tavares, Axel Reissnecker, Blair Nagel, Brittany Drennan, and Rene Arguello.

Enjoy the Full Austin Experience at these 5 Iconic South Austin Locations

Visit these south Austin hotspots and truly embrace the full Austin experience

If you’re into shopping, sunshine, live music, or nature you must visit these 5 iconic south Austin hotspots. They’re located along Miles 1-6 of the Austin Marathon course so they’re within walking distance of downtown Austin. Take in the Austin experience in one day or spread it out throughout Austin Marathon weekend. The choice is yours! If you find yourself hungry or in need of a cup of coffee, stop by our favorite south Austin coffee, breakfast, lunch, or dinner spots.

Congress Avenue Bridge (start)

Image of Wanda Jackson, the Queen of Rockabilly, performing at Continental Club. Enjoy the Austin experience when you take in a show at Continental Club!

Wanda Jackson, Queen of Rockabilly, performs at Continental Club.

This is one of Austin’s most iconic places to take photos for many reasons. Panoramic views of downtown, unobstructed view of the Texas State Capitol, Town Lake sunrises and sunsets, the 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats, and the beginning of the Austin Marathon! Whether you watch 17,500 runners cross the bridge or 1.5 million bats fly out from underneath in their bat cyclones, make sure your camera is charged and you have a great vantage point! Pro tip: take Bat Watching 101.

The Continental Club (Mile 1)

This live music venue is the self-proclaimed granddaddy of live music venues. The Continental Club (1315 S. Congress Ave.) has had a coast-to-coast and worldwide reputation as the premiere club for live music in Austin since 1955. Artists have included Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, Social Distortion, TD Bell and the Blues Specialists, Robert Plant, Blues Traveler, Dale Watson & his Lone Stars, Wanda Jackson, and more. Pro tip: Peterson Brothers Band, the 2018 Austin Marathon finish line festival headliner, play every Monday for free!

South Congress Shopping (Mile 1-2)

Image of mural outside of Triple Z Threads. Enjoy the Austin experience when you shop on South Congress.

Mural that greets you outside of Triple Z Threads.

Preview Miles 1-2 of the Austin Marathon course when you shop SoCo! You’ll find something you need and everything you don’t. Visit some of our favorites like the Kendra Scott Flagship, STAG Provisions for Men, Allens Boots, Monkey See Monkey DO, and Triple Z Threads. Stop by Big Top to satisfy your sweet tooth! Pro tip: follow us on Instagram and see what murals you can find along the way.

Greetings from Austin Mural (Mile 5)

Known around the world, the Greetings from Austin Mural (1720 S. 1st St.) is one of the most visited murals in Austin. The mural was painted in 1998 by Todd Sanders and Rory Skagen and restored in 2013. Pro tip: get there early for the shot you want. You’ll avoid the crowds and there will be less traffic.

Auditorium Shores (Mile 6)

You know this an Austin blog when Stevie Ray Vaughan is mentioned twice. One of the main Auditorium Shores (800 W. Riverside Dr.) highlights is his statue along the trail overlooking Town Lake. Mile Marker 0 is a popular gathering spot for runners because of water fountains, plenty of space to stretch, and a workout station. On a rest day? Take your pup to the off-leash Auditorium Shores Dog Park. Bringing the kids? Take them to the Splash Pad. Pro tip: the lefthand turn runners take during the Austin Marathon is a popular cheering location for loved ones and spectators.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of the Austin experience. You have to start somewhere, right? This is one of Austin’s most vibrant and diverse areas, making it the perfect place to explore. Do you have a place in south Austin that you love that did not make the list? Let us know what it is on Facebook or Twitter.

Dedicating His First Marathon Will Push Him to the Finish Line

This runner is dedicating his first marathon to his biggest supporter

Runners dedicate their training and running to others all the time. Their dedication can show loved ones how much their support means. They can also dedicate their running to supporting a charity of Austin Gives Miles presented by Moody Foundation, the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon’s philanthropic program. Rene Arguello is dedicating his first marathon, the Austin Marathon, to his wife Veronica. She’s his biggest supporter. Read Rene’s edition of My Running Story to see how much he and his wife has been through recently and why he’s dedicating his first marathon to her. Are you dedicating your Austin Marathon to someone specific? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

Time to sign up for the Austin Marathon

Image of Rene Arguello and Veronica, his wife, next to a Christmas tree. He's dedicating his first marathon to her!

Rene and Veronica.

I started running about 15 years ago when someone told me that I would never finish my first half marathon. Is that reason enough to prove someone wrong? The real reason I run is to be an example to my family. I want to show them that running has great health benefits. Every now and then my wife and daughters will join me on a run. Currently I’m training for my first marathon. I have completed ten half marathons and everyone says it is about time I sign up for a marathon. 

I usually like to dedicate my training and racing to someone. When you dedicate a race to someone it gives you the motivation to finish. I am dedicating my first marathon, the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon, to my wife. Veronica  is my biggest supporter. She always waves to me or blows a kiss when I am on a training run. My wife even goes to every running expo with me. She knows exactly where I am on any given racecourse and pops up to say “Hi!” on any given street corner. Veronica knows my running so much that she know what foods I need to eat during training and what gear I should wear based on the weather and the distance. 

My wife has been through a lot recently. Her favorite cousin recently passed away from a drowning accident in Port Aransas. Prior to that, her uncle passed away. My wife helped coordinate her uncle’s funeral and the music, no questions asked. 

Running with a heavy heart

This year I am running with a heavy heart, but still staying positive about my training. I like to keep loved ones on my mind and dedicate miles to them during the race. My overall training has been going well. I am following a racing plan and definitely have been enjoying my long runs. Running is contagious. I have several coworkers that have started running and have already signed up for races. They say that I turned them into runners. Maybe I have turned them into runners because I am always talking about it and I am always happy to answer any running-related questions. 

It’s funny, whenever I tell someone that I am running my first marathon I always get a crazy look. I know I will finish my first marathon. I have no doubt about it, especially since I’m dedicating my first 26.2 miles to my wife.

My Running Story is a series of blog submissions from runners just like yourself. They submitted their inspirational running stories as part of a contest to win an entry of their choice to the 2020 Ascension Seton Austin Marathon. Their stories range from crossing their first finish line to drastic lifestyle change due to running. Everyone’s story is different and unique, impacting them in a specific way. While each story is specific to the author, everyone can resonate in some form or fashion because of the power of running. Other My Running Story submissions include Kayleigh Williamson, Kirsten Pasha, Michael Coffey, Samantha Santos, Tom Hamann, Erica Richart, Angela Clark, Rebecca Galvan, Jeremy Tavares, Axel Reissnecker, Blair Nagel, and Brittany Drennan.